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Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

November 3, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

Crab Nebula

Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Supernovae: How Very Large Stars Die

Did you know that, while most stars die rather quietly, very large stars actually explode?  Were you aware that astronomers observed and studied exploding stars even before the telescope was invented?  Have you heard that these powerful blasts are so energetic that a dying star can briefly outshine an entire galaxy?  And that the residue left behind is the densest substance known in the universe? Are you ready for the planets and constellations that are visible in November?   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.


Please join us virtually for a presentation focused on how extremely large stars die.  We will chronicle both historical accounts and modern studies of supernovae.  We will also describe our current understanding of why very large stars behave in this way, offering some insight into what goes on inside the core of the dying star.  To understand these events better, we will delve a little bit into the strange worlds of atomic & nuclear structure, some quantum mechanics, and even a bit of particle physics—especially the neutron and the neutrino.  (Don’t panic—there’s no advanced math…)  Finally, for our technology update, we’ll select a few recent highlights from China’s space program.

And, as always, we will show you how to find many cool things that are in the sky this month and into early December.  Regarding constellations:  did you know that right now is probably the easiest chance to find Capricorn for the next many years, as well as the best view of Cepheus until next fall?  Are you aware that Pegasus, now high in the south, can be used as a pointer to help you find the “water” constellations, such as Pisces (the fish), Cetus (the whale), Piscis Austrinus (the southern fish), and Aquarius (the water bringer)?  Or that this is the best time to see Venus in the evening for another year and a half?  Plus, Jupiter & Saturn are visible, Mercury & Mars have a conjunction before dawn, and meteor showers are happening.  We will help you find all of these things for yourself.

Please join our mailing list to receive notices about upcoming Astronomy Night presentations and other events at MSU St. Andrews.

Monthly Family Astronomy Night events feature ASL interpretation.

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 (517) 432-4499 by Wednesday, September 29, 2021. 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 Foundationthe Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundationthe Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.


November 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Event Tags:
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MSU St. Andrews
(989) 374-9900


Online via Zoom