The summer is over, and that means that MICA is resuming its activities. MICA is currently undergoing internal evaluation and evolution, but one thing that we're going to keep doing is our regular public astronomy outreach talks. This Saturday, I'll be talking about where supernovae come from:
There are two types of supernovae: thermonuclear and core-collapse supernovae. Both signal the deaths of stars as best we understand them. Thermonuclear supernovae in particular have been important as tools to tell us about the Universe. It was observations of such events out to great distances that told us the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. Yet, supernova science has a dirty secret: our model for how these events occur hasn't been observationally confirmed. In the last year, X-ray observations have called into question what many of us believed to be the primary mechanism for the production of such stellar explosions. In this talk, I'll give an overview of what we do know about these thermonuclear supernovae, and what the current state of knowledge is in figuring out just where they came from.
The talk is at 10AM pacific time in Second Life. Remember that Second Life accounts are free! Follow the link to sign up. Once you're in Second Life, follow this link to find the MICA Public Amphitheater, which is where the talk will be.
For more information, look at the MICA Events web page, and follow the links to see slides from previous talks, and announcements of upcoming talks.
(As for why I've been so quiet in the last couple of weeks: soon I will make a post about what it's like to teach on the block plan!)