Friday, July 20, 2018
8:00 pm
Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium – Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Stargazing Lecture

A Stellar Diamond Named Lucy
Donal O'Sullivan, PhD Candidate, Department of Astronomy, Caltech

White Dwarfs are the final stage in the life of low-mass stars like our own Sun. They are made up of intensely compact, (degenerate) matter — mostly carbon and oxygen. Over cosmic timescales, these dwarfs radiate away their energy and begin to cool down. In the 1960s, theorists suggested that eventually, some White Dwarfs should become cold enough to crystallize. It would be forty years later before this theory was confirmed observationally, through the discovery of a diamond White Dwarf: Lucy. In this talk, we will look at white dwarfs, how they form, what they are made of, how they cool, and ultimately how they might become star-sized diamonds.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing lasts 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture, slideshow, and Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit:

Download the series flyer (PDF)

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