Our dynamic Universe is adorned by cosmic fireworks: energetic and ephemeral beacons of light that are a million (nova) to a billion (supernova) times brighter than our sun. Lately, we have discovered new types of optical and infrared fireworks with luminosities in the gap between novae and supernovae. The astrophysics of the new fireworks suggests we are witnessing stellar mergers (e.g. white dwarfs merging with neutron stars, neutron stars merging with black holes). The astrochemistry of the new fireworks suggests they serve as cosmic mines where various elements in the periodic table (e.g., Calcium, Platinum) are synthesized.
About the Series
Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing lasts 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.
Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture, slideshow, and Q&A takes place regardless of weather.
For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit: http://outreach.astro.caltech.edu.