October 20 Meeting of the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club

blogpic_orig

GAAC is a week later than usual this month! The Oct 20 meeting, 8:00 pm at the Lanesville Community Center, will be well-worth the wait, with Dr. Bill Waller and a presentation titled “Surfing the Galactic Froth.”

This is pretty cool. As it turns out, space is not so empty after all, but instead is shot through with frothy stuff.

According to Dr. Waller, this phenomenon arises mostly from microscopic grains of dust, irradiated and warmed by stars within our Galaxy’s disk, and concentrated in nebular regions of recent star formation and subsequent stellar death.

There’s a lot we can learn from these complex emissions, which provide a record of processes that have structured and powered supposedly empty interstellar space for the past 100 million years. Some of these features can be described in terms of “filaments,” “loops,” and “shell fragments,” while others appear more random – appearances that are consistent with turbulence and other processes.

In his usual colorful and irreproducible style, Dr. Waller will consider some of the hot stars, intense stellar winds, and supernova explosions that power the galactic froth, and will present recent images of this nebular emission from three nearby galaxies.

The Gloucester Area Astronomy Club meets on the second Friday of the month (except for this October!) at 8:00 pm at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan St in Lanesville.  More information of the club can be found on the website at http://gaac.us, the facebook page, at http://www.facebook.com/gaacpage, and on twitter, @GAACster.

There is no cost, and there is plenty of free off-street parking. The public is warmly invited; there is no special knowledge required to have a great time.

Advertisements