Astronomy

Learn About the Birth of Stars at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Talk

February 5, 2018, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated January 30, 2:45 PM
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Image courtesy of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Learn about the current theory behind star formation and evolution at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies Talk with Dr. Steven Mairs, on Friday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m.

Understanding the process and origins of how stars come into being is important not only for describing the visible universe, but also for recognizing and appreciating the origins of all life.

Dr. Mairs is a support astronomer at James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) atop Maunakea, the largest single dish telescope of its kind in the world. During the talk, Mairs will present images of star forming regions in the directions of famous constellations like Orion, Perseus, Ophiuchus and Serpens, and compare them to advanced computer simulations at the forefront of the field. He will also show how stellar growth spurts are measured in real time and highlight observations of a “twinkling” young star, EC53, which confirm the existence of a newly discovered planet.

Since 2015, Mairs has been working with astronomers around the world to conduct observational programs known as the JCMT Transient Survey. By the end of 2018, they intend to capture the deepest maps yet of eight nearby stellar nurseries. Their primary goal is to detect brightness variations around forming stars to learn how brand new suns gather their mass.

General admission tickets for the talk are $10, $8 for ‘Imiloa members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets are available at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at (808) 932-8901.

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ʻImiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawaiʻi, with a guided tour of prominent constellations and visible stars. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month.

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