Dr. J. Craig Wheeler, renowned astrophysicist and author, will lead an exploration of ideas at the cutting edge of current astrophysics. His extraordinary journey to investigate explosions of supernovae, resulting neutron stars, mysterious black holes, and elusive gamma ray bursts are far from science fiction. These exotic objects in our universe make up the life cycle of stars, are the basis for planets and life, and measure the history and fate of our Universe. Dr. Wheeler’s lecture follows the formation of supernovae, their characteristic shape and its significance, as well as the resulting celestial objects formed by the collapse of a star. Along the way, Dr. Wheeler examines evidence suggesting that the Universe is actually accelerating. He also explains recent developments in understanding gamma-ray bursts - perhaps the most catastrophic cosmic events of all. -- “Baryons, arranged into people, can think about the Universe, and the dark matter and dark energy, undoubtedly, cannot.” -from Cosmic Catastrophes, 2nd Ed.

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