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VIRTUAL Mtg & Talk: “Cosmic Fireworks”
April 16, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
We are holding a VIRTUAL “Macomb” meeting this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
7 PM: Tech check and warmup (Webex only)
7:30 PM: YouTube goes live / Introductions
7:35 PM: In the News, In the Sky
7:50 PM: Officers’ reports, Special Interest Groups
8:00 PM: Observing Reports, Ask an Astronomy Question
8:15 PM: Break, informal discussion
8:30 PM: Feature talk: Cosmic Fireworks
If you’d like to join the webex to speak and share your video if you wish, please email email@example.com.
If you’re just joining the YouTube stream, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC12jUX4Gmweg6fTtUuqa8CQ/live
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Feature presentation: “Cosmic Fireworks” by Professor Jerry Dunifer
This presentation will examine some of the events that take place in the Universe that can be described as “Cosmic Fireworks”. These are explosive events that release large amounts of energy, often in relatively short amounts of time.
Starting out close to home, we’ll take a look at Solar Flares, explosive events on the surface of the Sun, which may last only a few minutes but which may release millions of times more energy than the largest hydrogen bomb ever tested on Earth.
Further out in space, among the stars, we’ll consider novae (or novas), explosions that take place on the surfaces of white dwarf stars. Although far more energetic than solar flares, these explosions do not, in general, disrupt the star itself. A given white dwarf may sustain multiple nova events over a period of time.
And, going to far more energetic events, we’ll consider supernova explosions, which, in general, lead to the complete destruction of a star. Although these highly-energetic events occur decades to centuries apart in our galaxy, there are examples of other even more colossal events that happen throughout the Universe.
Jerry Dunifer is a Professor Emeritus at Wayne State University. He was a member of the faculty in the Department of Physics & Astronomy for 35 years before retirement. While active in the Department he served as a Professor and Associate Chair of the Department for several years. His research program there involved the study of the electrical and magnetic properties of high-purity metals at a temperature of 1 Kelvin.
He also played an active role in the astronomy programs of the Department, including the WSU Planetarium and telescopic observing facilities. Since retirement, one of Jerry’s hobbies has been visiting a number of the major and historic astronomy observatories around the World. He has visited dozens of different sites and has traveled as far as the geographic South Pole and the geographic North Pole. And many places in-between.
If you would like to present a short talk (5-15 minutes) or a long talk (40-60 minutes) at a future meeting, please email Dale Partin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent, and should not be attributed to, the Warren Astronomical Society.