Jul 26

Ordinary Meeting [Hybrid Meeting] with Serge Wadhwa

Date & Time
26 July 2024 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Timezone
(UTC+10:00) Australia/Sydney

Guest Speaker: Serge Wadhwa

Title: The SuperNova Early Warning System (SNEWS) and how amateurs can contribute to the attached AAVSO programme.

Abstract: Supernovae are the ultimate variable stars. In distant galaxies, a previously indistinguishable star that ends its life in a supernova explosion may outshine its host galaxy in a spectacular blaze of glory. A visible supernova in our own galaxy is an exciting and ultimately historic event. Kepler’s supernova of 1604 subtly changed the course of scientific and Western cultural history. The nearby supernova SN1987A yielded a treasure trove of scientific information, still being studied after 30 years. The immense public interest in a possible Galactic supernova was seen during the great dimming of Betelgeuse (2019).

A core-collapse supernova (CCSN; Type II and others) is an important process by which heavy elements are created and scattered through the interstellar medium from which other stars and planets may form. Although the time of a supernova event cannot be predicted, an early alert system is operational that gives an alert of a CCSN in our galaxy - The SuperNova Early Warning System (SNEWS).

SNEWS is seeking amateur help to prepare for the next galactic supernova. The aim of this project is to obtain long-term photometry on stars in the Milky Way that are candidates for core-collapse supernovae.

In this talk/demonstration I will discuss how we as amateurs can help with monitoring using the simplest of equipment and freely available software. You can help by using just your mobile phone! The methods described ARE NOT good enough for professional analysis. However, they are good enough to monitor trends and some of these trends are very important in determining the astrophysical evolution of the progenitor star. And best of all - all you need to do is take one (UNTRACKED) photo a week.

Biography: Lifelong amateur astronomer and member of the ASNSW for over 35 years, Serge has a long-term interest in variable stars and has been observing/photographing various types for 30+ years. More recently, he has progressed to higher levels and is currently completing a PhD on orbital stability of contact binary stars.

Event Type
Ordinary Meeting
Event Location
26 Stanley Road
Epping Creative Centre
Epping NSW 2121

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