Monday, March 13 - 7:00 PM

Chautauqua Community House

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Stars and planets are born in dense molecular clouds rich in clusters containing hundreds of stars. Our solar system formed in such a cluster about 4.5 billion years ago. Over the eons, the sibling stars of the sun have been dispersed throughout the galaxy.

Dr. John Bally will discuss the formation of stars and planetary systems and share incredible results from the new ALMA telescope in Chile. Recent ALMA results indicate a protostellar merger occurred behind the Orion Nebula about 500 years ago releasing more energy than the Sun puts out in 10 million years. The tip of this explosion only began emerging into the Orion Nebula within the last 50 years.

Speaker: Dr. John Bally, APS, Boulder, is on the Spitzer space observatory warm mission which monitors approximately 200 nearby galaxies for luminous infrared flares. The mission has discovered embedded supernovae and an entirely new class of infrared-only transients with luminosities between novae and supernovae— some of which may be events similar to Orion.