You have probably heard that our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy. But just what is a galaxy? (And who came up with the name “Milky Way galaxy” in the first place?) What do we know about the Milky Way? How big is it, what shape is it, and how many stars does it have? What else, other than stars, is in it? How old is it? Are stars still forming? If so, where—is there a pattern? Where is the center, and how far are we from it? And if we can’t see the center (which we can’t), how do we know where it is or what might be lurking there? How do we know any of this information? There’s so much to talk about! Plus—what are the planets and constellations doing this month? Join us by Zoom to learn more!
Please register to receive the Zoom login. You may register up to the presentation start time or even during the meeting to join us.
We will chronicle early observations of the Milky Way, along with early understandings, through to modern studies involving satellite images and spectroscopic observations. Along the way, we will provide answers to all the questions raised above. Finally, our monthly technology update will focus on the recently launched James Webb Telescope: its purpose, progress, and amazing history.
And, as always, we will show you how to find many fun things in the sky in January and early February. Have you noticed that the Winter Hexagon, which locates eight (not just six) of our sky’s brightest stars, has returned to the evening sky? Did you know that Orion can be used as a pointer system to locate other stars and constellations? Were you aware that, in the next month, three different planets will transition from the evening sky to the morning sky? We will help you see all of these things for yourself.
Time allowed for live Q & A throughout the event. ASL Interpretation featured during the event.
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Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting 989 374-9904. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.
Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.