Odyssey: Stars' Lives: Why Do They Matter?

There are trillions of stars in the universe. Some just a few million years old, some billions of years like our sun. Some so distant their light has not had time to reach us. Sixty-three stars lie less than 16 light-years distant from us; the closest, Alpha Centauri is more than 4 light-years away. The earliest stars were born into the universe only a half billion years following its creation 13.82 billion years ago. Those are now molecular clouds having burned their fuel and exploded, spreading new seeds of creation throughout the cosmos. Our star, the sun, is half-way through its life, but in less than a billion years it will also run low on fuel, begin its journey to red giant status, and incinerate all bodies orbiting it, including the Earth. Humanity has begun the search for a new home.

Stars are the lifeblood of the universe. Three trillion explode each year flinging atoms across her expanse to create new suns, new solar systems, new planets, 20% of which are habitable, capable of spawning new life, and perhaps new consciousness; matter becoming aware of itself.

In the first half of this six-week Odyssey, Dr. Hall will lead us on a journey into the hearts of stars and beyond, including a history of astronomy from the ancients to Einstein and the quantum physicists, who together slowly unveiled the cosmos' hidden order. In the last half of Stars' Lives Matter, we will delve into the lives of stars, how they form, how they explode, how some vanish completely into other dimensions in the warp and woof of the cosmos' fabric. Finally, we will examine NASA's evidence for the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Are we alone aboard Spaceship Earth?

914.609.01 via Zoom
Wednesday, March 3 to April 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $158 (six sessions)

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for 80% remission; spouse for 50%. You will be unable to register online and receive the discount. For registration details, email bhebron@jhu.edu.