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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, January 20, 2023
7:00pm to 9:00pm
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Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
Fireworks from Black Holes Devouring Stars
Yuhan Yao, PhD Candidate, Department of Astronomy, Caltech,
  • Public Event

Stargazing is dependent on clear weather, but lecture and Q&A happen regardless. Event will occur in-person, with lecture and Q&A additionally live-streamed on YouTube.

For remote viewers, the event will be live-streamed here:

7:00–7:30 p.m. - Public Lecture
7:30–9:00 p.m. - Panel Q&A and Guided Stargazing

Most galaxies in the universe are thought to contain a supermassive black hole. While these black holes themselves do not emit light, they can be "awakened" when a star gets too close and is torn apart by their powerful gravitational forces. From start to finish, a black hole takes a couple of months to fully consume a star, all the while producing visual fireworks across the electromagnetic spectrum. I will talk about how astronomers search for these "tidal disruption events", and what we have learned about black holes as they manipulate nearby material to create new physical features.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by a Q&A panel and 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 and panel Q&A last 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit:

For more information, please contact Cameron Hummels by email at [email protected].