Dr. Robert Benjamin, UWW Dept. of Physics, will talk about “Will Life on Earth Survive Deneb’s Supernova?” on Fri, Nov 1, at 8pm (Upham 140). It’s the third lecture in the 2013-2014 Whitewater Observatory Lecture Series! A viewing session at the Whitewater Observatory will follow the lecture at 9:15pm, weather permitting. Both the lecture and the viewing session are free and open to all.
“To look at the sky, you would think that stars are timeless, distant points of light. But when viewed more closely, they are churning, roiling balls of plasma that evolve over time. And when some of these stars run out of fuel, they will explode. Should we be worried that one of the Sun’s neighbors will explode? Will the Sun explode? In this lecture, I will cover what types of stars explode, why they do it, and how close would they need to be to the Earth to affect us.”
Andersen Library can provide additional materials if you’d like to learn more. Search HALCat for books, government documents, and videos. Search article databases for articles in journals, magazines, or newspapers, such as “What makes stars explode” (Astronomy, 2007, vol.35:no:3, pp.38-43) and “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth” (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2012, vol.423:no.2, pp.1234-1253). Ask a librarian for assistance with finding materials.
Plan ahead to attend other lectures in this series, which will address damage to or the destruction of the Earth!
- Nov. 8: future loss of Earth’s magnetic field, and
- Nov. 15: unpredicted meteor that exploded over Russia last February.