Join Joyce Guzik in the Los Alamos Nature Center’s planetarium on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. to explore the latest updates on Cepheid variable stars. In addition to this talk, PEEC will show the full-dome film “Out There” in the planetarium on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. Photo Courtesy PEEC
Come to the Los Alamos Nature Center on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. to explore the latest discoveries related to Cepheid variable stars — the yardsticks of our universe! At this talk, Joyce Guzik will give investigate current topics in Cepheid research and point out the locations and properties of several Cepheids in the night sky.
Cepheids are stars that brighten and dim periodically. Observations of these stars are well within the reach of amateur observers, with over 200 Cepheids in the Milky Way. Cepheids show a period-luminosity relation that has been used to determine distances within the Milky Way Galaxy and to galaxies beyond. This is why they’re known as the yardsticks of the universe!
Cepheids are also a laboratory to test stellar interior physics, such as nuclear reaction rates for helium burning and opacities, under conditions not easily accessible in laboratories on Earth. Guzik will give an update from an international conference on Cepheid research that was held in Cloudcroft in October at this talk.
In addition to this talk, the nature center will play the full-dome film “Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds” on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like the Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. “Out There” explores how the world’s most powerful telescopes have allowed us to explore more and more of the universe. The film also showcases the Sun, which is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy.
Seating is limited for both of these events, so please call the nature center at 505-662-0460 or stop by to reserve your tickets. Admission to both programs is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Events in the planetarium are not recommended for children under age 4.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.