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Novae: Cataclysmic Explosions

presented by Dr. Glenda Denicolo

7:30 PM Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Ross School Tennis Center
20 Goodfriend Dr

 

Novae are the second largest explosions in our universe. They are thermonuclear explosions on the surface of a white dwarf that is accreting material from a close companion star. They still surprise researchers because of their diversity, unexpected and sometimes unexplained behavior. Novae may become important distance scale indicators if the maximum magnitude vs. rate of decline relation can be accurately interpreted. Moreover, recurrent novae have been proposed as the progenitors of type Ia supernovae (the largest explosions in our universe), our premier cosmic yardstick.

In this talk Prof. Denicolo will explain the general characteristics of the nova phenomenon, and go over some curious nova examples. The interesting (but no-need-to-worry) question of what would happen to us if a nova occurred nearby will also be addressed.

Dr. Denicolo was born in Brazil. She has a BSc in Physics from the Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, UFPR-Brazil, a MSc in Astronomy from the National Observatory, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and a PhD in Astronomy from the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK.

Dr. Denicolo has been teaching physics, and occasionally astronomy, at Suffolk County Community College since 2007. She is currently involved in research on novae at Stony Brook University. She loves her canine daughter Luna, and as far as she can remember, she has never been abducted by aliens.

Following this talk and weather permitting Montauk Observatory telescopes will be available for celestial observations.

Click "More Options" below for directions to the Ross School Tennis Center.

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