The Martian

The State Theatre Modesto, CA


Dr. Julia Vogel

Research Staff, Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, Livermore National Laboratory

The Martian— Unraveling the High-Energy Universe

An introduction to the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) a NASA small explorer mission that was successfully launched in June 2012. The satellite mission uses technology developed in part by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory study the cosmos at its extremes by observing exploding stars, hidden black holes, and other exotic objects in an entirely new light.  

The State Theatre Modesto, CA

Film Synopsis

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney, presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must use his wits, spirit, and scientific know-how to find a way to survive on the hostile planet.

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit, and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return. Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian was nominated for three Golden Globes. 

About the Speaker

Dr. Julia Vogel is a staff scientist in the X-ray Science and Technology group of the Physics Department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). She works on solar axion dark matter searches (CAST, IAXo) and hard X-ray astronomy using focusing multilayer-coated X-ray optics (NuSTAR). She received her PhD from the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2009 in experimental astroparticle physics. Her primary research interests include the search for dark matter using novel, low-background detectors in combination with X-ray optics (CAST, IAXo experiments). Currently her work focuses on the application of advanced multilayer techniques in astrophysics. As a member of the NuSTAR instrument and science team, Dr. Vogel studies neutron stars with very high magnetic fields (called magnetars) using this state-of-the-art NASA Small Explorer mission. NuSTAR is also scheduled for solar observations and Dr. Vogel will work on using these data to search for axions combining her astroparticle research work with X-ray astronomy instrumentation and analysis.