January Monthly Gathering – Life Among the Stars: A Truly Cosmic Tale

Our study of the universe started with stargazing. Looking up at the stars connects us to a legacy of wonder and science stretching back thousands of years, in civilizations all around the world. While the night sky definitely inspires awe, early astronomy was also practical—farming according to the solstices and equinoxes yielded better crops, and more food fueled the growth of human society and innovation.

Today we know that stars are the essential sources of raw material in the universe, recycling and distributing the elemental building blocks of everything we observe: new stars, nebulas of gas and dust, planets, and even humans. All life on Earth contains the element carbon, and all carbon was originally formed in the core of a star.

The Universe is a huge place loaded with at least 200 sextillion stars but there could be as many as 70 septillion stars. (That’s a 7 followed by 43 zeros!) That means, that for every grain of sand on the Earth there are at least 10,000 stars. And there are many different types of stars as well. Varying greatly in their make-up and size. Some live several million years where others continue to function for up to 200 billion years. This presentation will attempt to illuminate the life cycle of different types of stars and will ultimately explain what we can expect from the future of our nearest star… the sun.

Join us on Saturday, January 20, when NASA Solar System ambassador Ken Bertin takes us on a tour of the stars. Mr. Bertin received his first telescope at the age of seven and has been an avid astronomer ever since. He has traveled to and observed ten solar eclipses, three annular eclipses and both transits of Venus. He has seen numerous Lunar and partial solar eclipses, photographing each type. Ken is past president of the Warren Astronomical Society. His stated purpose in life is “the acquisition of knowledge, and the imparting it to others.”

The Zoom room opens at 6:30pm (Eastern) for mingling. The program starts at 7:00pm (Eastern). Please remember that all attendees need to pre-register by clicking on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-2024-Gathering . 

There is no charge for the Zoom presentation, but, due to rising costs, your donation via PayPal is greatly appreciated. Please donate $5! To donate go to http://www.paypal.comand click on the “Send Money” tab. Enter the e-mail address treasurer@nullmensadetroit.comand your payment amount.