Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Lives (and Deaths) of Star Clusters in the Milky Way
with Kevin Covey, PhD, assistant astronomer at Lowell Observatory
Star clusters are some the most beautiful objects in our night sky, but they are also among the most fragile: most star clusters are destroyed shortly after they form, dissipating their stars throughout the Milky Way. Since most stars and planets form within these young clusters, the processes that destroy these clusters could strongly influence the structure and very survival of planetary systems. Indeed, the outer regions of our own solar system may still show scars today tracing back to its early escape from its original birth cluster.
In this talk, astronomer Kevin Covey will explain how star clusters form, and identify the leading suspects for causing their untimely demise. Kevin will describe a ‘forensic study’ he and his colleagues are conducting of two young clusters forming in the constellation of Perseus. By understanding the properties of these young clusters, which share a common birthplace but occupy different stages along a cluster's evolutionary path, Dr. Covey and his colleagues are uncovering new clues that may overturn previous theories of the life and death of young clusters.Kevin Covey
received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington, and was then awarded NASA’s prestigious Spitzer and Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowships to support his research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Cornell University. He is continuing his research at Lowell Observatory, where he uses telescopes around the world -- and orbiting above it! -- to observe and study the formation and evolution of stars and stellar clusters. When not trapped behind a telescope mirror or computer screen, Kevin enjoys recreational cycling and cheering for the Portland Trailblazers.
Science Pub Hillsboro is a monthly event open to anyone aged 21+ (or minor with adult). No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!
$5.00 suggested cover charge. Tell your friends. We hope to see you there!
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