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General Meeting – February 2024

February 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PST


February 16
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PST
Event Category:


"What's Up?"
Alex McConahay from RAS


Irvine Lecture Hall of the Chapman University
336 N Center St
Orange, CA 92866 United States
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This is a free and open to the public hybrid event, held both inperson and online. Due to the newly effective insurance requirements, we regret that we can not allow people under 18 on the Chapman Campus, they are welcome to attend online.

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This meeting’s speaker will present online from Connecticut.



The Wild West of Star Formation




Tonight we saddle up to explore the extreme center of our Milky Way galaxy – a chaotic region containing dense gas, stars, and a supermassive black hole. The normal rules for star formation don’t seem to apply here and scientists are chasing down these law-breaking clouds in our Galaxy’s Center. We will explore a multi-wavelength perspective of our Galaxy’s Center and what fuels this extreme region. By understanding what is causing the rules of star formation to break down in this region, we can better understand how stars are born across the cosmos.




Cara Battersby is a PhD astrophysicist with a lifelong passion for education and community outreach. She is currently an associate professor of physics at the University of Connecticut where she leads the Milky Way Laboratory. This research group is funded by NSF and NASA and uses our Milky Way as a laboratory to explore physics across the cosmos, using both large observational surveys and numerical simulations. Dr. Battersby has authored over 70 publications and given over 50 invited research presentations. She has worked with folks at NASA on developing space mission concepts, is a co-founder of major outreach programs UConn STARs and BiteScis, and secretly wants to be Carl Sagan when she grows up. She loves being active outdoors (hiking, climbing, etc!), playing music and spending time with her wonderful family and friends.