General Meeting

Next Meeting:  Friday, April 7, 2017

Open to the Public:  TAAA encourages the public to join our general meetings held on the first Friday of the month in the Steward Observatory Lecture Hall (Room N210) on the U of A Campus.

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Previous Meeting:  Friday, March 3, 2017

Introductory Presentation – 6:30 PM

 What Is A Star?

Presenter:  Jim O’Connor, TAAA member  

Jim focuses his talk on what a star really is. Learn how a star’s nuclear fusion process creates gamma rays which eventually decay into the light rays we see. Discover how a star’s size leads to its evolving into a planetary nebulae and white dwarf, or if large enough, into a supernova that creates neutron stars, rarely magnetars, and if extremely large, black holes. Jim will also explore some special denizens of the cosmos, such as Wolf-Rayet stars, and show how Cepheid Variables work and are used to determine stellar distances. He’ll introduce special cases, such as blue giant stars that go supernovae directly, vampire stars, zombie stars, hypernovae, and gamma ray bursters. It’s a star-studded talk, with many visuals to match.

Main Presentation – 7:30 PM

10 Years at Mars!

Presenter:  Ari Espinoza, media and public outreach coordinator for the HiRISE camera, and co-author (with Alfred McEwen and Candice Hansen-Koharcheck) on Mars: The Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet, scheduled for May release by U of A Press.

Ari will present an entertaining, insightful talk on Mars 101 and what we’ve learned about the Red Planet in the 10 years since HiRISE arrived there to begin snapping pictures. The HiRISE camera is the most powerful ever sent to another planet. It’s helped us discover that far from being a dry desert, the interesting things happening on Mars today could have implications for future landings, and for what we mean by looking for past life. Learn all about it on Friday, March 3rd.