Every second, somewhere in the universe, a dying star explodes. These supernovae are so bright that for a brief period the dying star outshines its entire galaxy. In fact, about 1000 years ago, there was a supernova so bright it was visible in the day, and cast shadows at night. In our own Milky Way galaxy, a supernova occurs about once every 100 years. And now, with modern telescopes, we can see supernovae go off in distant galaxies, and study the properties of their light. Supernovae are not just the end of stars: They were used to discover the perplexing accelerating expansion of the universe, and they are responsible for releasing the elements crucial for life (including the atoms in our own bodies). KITP astronomer Iair Arcavi will explain how observations of supernovae are shaping our understanding of the universe, and will demonstrate how the latest astronomical technology is used to hunt supernovae across the universe.
Doors open at SOhO at 5:00PM. Dinner and drinks will be available, and there is no cover charge for this event, so come to SOhO: Eat, think, and be merry! More information at http://www.sohosb.com/calendar/.