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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, January 12, 2024
8:00pm to 10:00pm
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Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
Supernovae: The Brilliant Endings of Massive Stars
Michael Pajkos, Postdoctoral Fellow, 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:

8:00–8:45 p.m. - Public Lecture
8:45–9:45 p.m. - Panel Q&A and Guided Stargazing

When stars heavier than our Sun reach the ends of their lives, rapid changes inside the star can result in it exploding as a supernova. While these supernovae may produce brilliant outbursts that are visible across the universe, many will often fail, producing instead a stellar implosion. In this talk, we will review the science that governs whether a star will turn into a cosmic firework or stellar dud. We will explore the hearts of these cosmic furnaces that produce unique objects like neutron stars and black holes. Lastly, we will discover what items on a grocery list, stellar explosions, and humanity all have in common.

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 and are Free and open to all. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing and panel Q&A last 60 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A take 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].