An Educated Citizen’s Guide to Supernovae

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: 

  • Illinois State Museum, Springfield

Event Venue: 

Thorne Deuel Auditorium

Event Audience: 

Adult
Teen

Fee: 

Free and open to the public

Paul Mickey Learning Series presented by John Martin, University of Illinois-Springfield  

In the early 20th century astronomers recognized a class of objects, deemed supernovae, which would rapidly grow in luminosity to outshine all the other stars in their galaxy and then fade back into obscurity over the course of many months.  Close examination of spectra and light curves quickly revealed that not all supernovae are identical.  Due to the vast distances to the galaxies that host them, all but a few proved difficult to study with anything but the largest telescopes.  In the 21st century improvements in technology and automated imaging surveys driven by the cosmological significance of Type Ia Supernovae have exponentially increased the number of supernovae discovered each year and the amount of data gathered about them.  As with all good science, more data has revealed further differences and raised many more questions.  In this talk we will cover the basics about supernova, explain how their light curves and spectra have been interpreted to reveal their nature, and the key questions about supernova that astronomers have yet to answer.
John C Martin is an Associate Professor of Astronomy Physics and the Director of the Henry R. Barber Research Observatory at the University of Illinois Springfield.  His primary research interest is the astrophysics of massive and luminous stars.  He is also the host of UIS Friday Night Star Parties.
Each month, the Paul Mickey Learning Series features a different speaker and topic in the Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum. For additional information, please contact events@illinoisstatemuseum.org or (217) 558-6696.
Supernovae

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