Join Joyce Guzik at 7 p.m. todayin the Nature Center’s planetarium to explore the latest updates on Cepheid variable stars. PEEC also will show the full-dome film ‘Out There’ at 2 p.m., Saturday. Courtesy/PEEC
PEEC will show the full-dome film ‘Out There’ at 2 p.m., Saturday in the Nature Center’s planetarium. Courtesy/PEEC
The community is invited to the Los Alamos Nature Center at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22 to explore the latest discoveries related to Cepheid variable stars — the yardsticks of the universe.
At this talk, Joyce Guzik will discuss topics on the latest Cepheid research and point out the locations and properties of several Cepheids in the night sky.
Cepheids are stars that brighten and dim periodically. Observations of these stars are well within the reach of amateur observers, with more than 200 Cepheids in the Milky Way. Cepheids show a period-luminosity relation that has been used to determine distances within the Milky Way Galaxy and to galaxies beyond. This is why they’re known as the yardsticks of the universe.
Cepheids also are a laboratory to test stellar interior physics, such as nuclear reaction rates for helium burning and opacities, under conditions not easily accessible in laboratories on Earth. Guzik will give an update from an international conference on Cepheid research held in in October in Cloudcroft at this talk.
In addition to this talk, the nature center will play the full-dome film “Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, it’s now known that planets like the earth are nothing special in the cosmos.
“Out There” explores how the world’s most powerful telescopes have allowed more and more exploration of the universe. The film also showcases the sun, which is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in the galaxy.
Seating is limited for both of these events, so call the nature center at 505.662.0460 or stop by to reserve tickets. Admission to both programs is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Events in the planetarium are not recommended for children under age 4.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.