HAL mtg September 2021 – Observing the Next Galactic Supernova

The catastrophic deaths of massive stars–supernova explosions–are among the most powerful and important events in the cosmos. Supernovae strongly shape the structure and chemistry of their host galaxies; they produce a variety of exotic objects including neutron stars, black holes, and gamma-ray bursts; and, perhaps most importantly, supernova debris ejected into interstellar space is chock full of the heavy elements that make planets and life possible. Dr. Milisavljevic will provide a vivid description of historical supernovae that occurred in our own Milky Way galaxy, and outline plans for a coordinated global response to the next “Big One.” Particular emphasis will be drawn to the special role that American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) members will have in responding to an alert from the Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS), which is a network of neutrino detectors around the world designed to rapidly provide the first announcement when the next once-in-a-century Galactic supernova occurs.

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