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Scholarship@Villanova Lecture featuring Ed Sion, PhD, on Tuesday, April 9


Please join us on Tuesday, April 9, from 3-4 p.m. in Room 205, Falvey Library, for a talk by Ed Sion, PhD, Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Villanova University. Dr. Sion will present a talk titled “Accreting White Dwarfs: from Exoplanetary Probes to Classical Novae and Type Ia Supernovae” in honor of his recently published book of the same name (Institute of Physics Publishing, 2023). This event is part of the Scholarship@Villanova lecture series, which is dedicated to recognition of the scholarly publications, ongoing research, and other intellectual contributions of faculty members from all five colleges of Villanova University.

The white dwarfs (WDs) are the terminal evolutionary state of 96% of the roughly 200 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. They are extremely dense because they contain the mass of an average star (like the Sun) compressed into a volume the size of a rocky, metallic planet like Earth. They show us what the Sun will become in the future, the history of star formation in our Galaxy, and a lower limit to the age of the universe. Accreting white dwarfs provide the white dwarf supernovae (Type Ia) that tell us that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, leading to the discovery of dark energy. Their spectra contain the chemical fingerprints that reveal whether the exoplanets that orbit other stars are made of the same material as our own, or not.

This ACS-approved event, co-sponsored by the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Falvey Library, and the Office of the Provost, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


 


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Last Modified: March 12, 2024

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