Popular Astronomy Talk in Second Life : The Death of Stars (2008-May-02)

I’m going to be giving my second “Dr. Knop Talks Astronomy” popular talk in Second Life as part of the fledgling Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics.

The talk will be at The Galaxy Dome in Spaceport Bravo, this Friday (May 2) at 8AM pacific time (which is the same as in-world time in Second Life).

Drop by if you’re interested! Here’s the longer description of the talk:

In Fire and In Ice : The Death of Stars

Stars live for millions or billions of years, but they don’t liveforever. When a star reaches the end of its lifetime, spectactular fireworks can result. In this popular talk for interested layman, Dr. Knop will outline what it is that keeps a star together during its lifetime, and what happens to stars of various different sizes when that process finally breaks down. He’ll talk about the ejection of planetary nebulae, the cooling of white dwarves, and the most spectacular of stellar events, supernovae.

Dr. Knop Talks Astronomy

The Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics is a new venture being spearheaded by Piet Hut, also known as Pema Pera in Second Life. Piet and collaborators have already done some actual scientfic collaboration a virutal world, through Qwaq. However, he— and others, to the point that I can start using the pronoune “we”— are starting to do more in Second Life in an attempt both to bring in more astronomers, professional and amateur, as well as interested community members. Activities are going to include a regular journal club, as well as a monthly outreach talk at the popular level. I will write more about MICA later.

Right now, though, I want to (at the last minute) publicize that I will be giving tomorrow’s in-world popular talk. I’ll be talking on the title “The Power of the Dark Side: How Dark Matter and Dark Energy dominate our Universe”. This talk will be in The Galaxy Dome in the ISM‘s Spaceport Bravo. This is going to be a version of a talk that I’ve given before, last Spring when I was still at Vanderbilt and going around giving AAS Seyfert Shapley Lectures. (I think I gave five of those last year.) The talk will be in-world using Second Life Voice, and will be at a level accessible to all (although I always do try to challenge your minds when I give these sorts of talks).