Ken Croswell earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and is the author of eight highly acclaimed books, including Magnificent Universe, Planet Quest, Ten Worlds, and his latest, The Lives of Stars. His website is KenCroswell.com
The stars that speckle the sky have long fascinated humanity, but only in the past century have astronomers figured out how stars are born, live, and die. Now we can use this knowledge to address the question: Which stars near the Sun might have planets with intelligent life? Drawing on both the laws of stellar evolution and the latest discoveries of extrasolar planets, Harvard-trained astronomer Dr. Ken Croswell describes the lives of stars and the alien worlds they may support.
Revelations from The Lives of Stars include:
More information about the talk is availble here
- Some stars--such as T Tauri--owe their light not to nuclear reactions but to gravity.
- Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, gives birth to ten new stars a year.
- Billions of years from now, the Sun will expand into a red giant, swallow Mercury, and fry the Earth.
- Drop a pebble just four feet above a neutron star and it will hit the star's surface at 5 million miles per hour.
- The oxygen you breathe arose in huge stars that exploded billions of years ago, while the iron in your blood came mostly from stars smaller than Earth.
- Life-bearing planets may orbit Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the Sun.
Ken will also be selling and signing some of his books at the meeting. He can accept cash or checks but NO credit cards. All books are hardcover and in mint condition. Prices will be:
The Lives of Stars: $22
Ten Worlds (about the solar system): $22
Planet Quest (about extrasolar planets): $27
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Chris Butler
Pre-meeting Slide Show (~2 MB)
Club Announcements (~0.2 MB)