Astro-Chat: White dwarfs

an astro-chat with

Professor Don Kurtz

Visiting Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln, UK

Friday, 10 December 2021

7:00-8:00 pm

Live online

Book a place

Stars do not live forever. They are born out of the gas and dust in our Milky Way Galaxy and spend much of their lives fusing hydrogen to helium, the same energy source that powers our terrifying hydrogen bombs, but will one day provide abundant, clean, cheap power to us. Over the coming billions of years the Sun will swell to become a red giant star, boiling the Earth’s oceans and blowing away its atmosphere. It will then become a white dwarf star mostly made of carbon and only about the size of Earth. The oldest white dwarfs that formed when the Milky Way was young, 11 billion years ago, have now cooled to 3000 C, and crystallised into giant carbon crystals – diamond. Imagine that! A diamond bigger than the Earth! De Beers, eat your heart out. This is the first of three AstroChats that will look at the three death states of stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.

This is our 6th Astro-Chat with our distinguished guest Professor Don Kurtz. The session will include a brief illustrated introduction followed by questions and answers. Members of the public will be able to ask questions in the live-chat. The event is hosted by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, Head of the School of Maths & Physics at the University of Lincoln, UK.

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