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Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 5, Day 4) – A Walk Under the Stars: Astronomy and Astrophysics

On our second to last day of Astrophysics, we explored the ways in which astronomers use star light to discover some really interesting things about distant objects! First we took a look at two ways astronomers use a distant star’s light to determine that a planet is orbiting around it. Because we can’t see planets outside our solar system directly, we have to use these indirect methods to detect them. We then spent the rest of the day exploring the properties of stars. We took a look at how measuring the color and brightness of a collection of stars could teach us about the ages of that stellar population! We learned how a star forms and begins to undergo nuclear fusion. Finally, the students used computer simulations to explore how mass and other properties of a star determine its ultimate fate.



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