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February 13, Natalie Foster

Dust to dust: the life cycle of stars in our universe

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Astronomer Carl Sagan said, “We are made of star stuff.” Every living thing on this planet (and the universe!) is composed of the remains of stars that existed before the Earth was formed. Our own star, the Sun, continues to drive the processes that sustain us, such as photosynthesis in plants. Why is the Sun so hot? What happens when stars run out of fuel? When will the Sun reach the end of its life? Let’s discover the answers together!

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 6:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 6:15 pm-6:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 7:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 7:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.

Michael Gully-Santiago

The Science and Discovery of Stars, Sub-Stars, and Planets!

Do you ever think about how big space is? Join us as Michael Gully-Santiago explains how he is discovering new stars and sub-stars with some of the largest telescopes in the world. Michael will show how we can use these and other discoveries to learn about how stars and planets form from giant clouds of space dust and gas. Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas.

There are hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, and “billions and billions” of galaxies in our Universe. In the Milky Way Galaxy we call home, scientists are still making discoveries in our astronomical backyard- the vicinity of space within merely a few hundred light-years to the Sun. Weather permitting, we will use portable telescopes to look at the planet Jupiter, and its largest moons; a star formation region M42, about a thousand light-years away; and the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light-years distant.

Michael Gully-Santiago is a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. Click here to visit Michael’s website.