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July Maunakea Skies Talk: The Coolest Members of the Family

by Brea Aamoth on June 28th, 2016


‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Carlos Alvarez of W. M. Keck Observatory

Date: Friday, July 15
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

Sub-stellar objects, commonly called brown dwarfs, are a class of celestial bodies that haven’t accumulated enough mass during their infancy to start ignition as a star. Often unfairly referred to as “failed stars,” these extraordinary objects are self-sustained by exotic physical processes in their core. Join us to learn more about the “least massive and coolest members” of the Galaxy at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. presented by Dr. Carlos Alvarez, Support Astronomer at W. M. Keck Observatory.

Since the first detection of sub-stellar objects in the Pleiades cluster nearly 20 years ago, researchers have developed complex numerical models to help us understand how the interiors of these cool objects work and how the atmospheric features are produced. Dr. Alvarez will showcase the observations astronomers conduct to validate these models, and demonstrate how the outcome of some of these observations challenge predictions made by the models. Although important progress has been made in recent years to understand these cool and low mass objects, there are still unsolved mysteries, as this talk will examine.

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech: Image represents an artist’s view of a sub-stellar object

Dr. Alvarez received his PhD from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom) with a Thesis on “Outflows from Massive Young Stellar Objects.” He has been working as a Support Astronomer with the W. M. Keck Observatory since September 2015. During his professional career he has contributed to scientific publications on subjects ranging from massive star formations to active galactic nuclei, sub-stellar objects, comets and asteroids.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy. The audiences can view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for Kupuna, Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.



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