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Alex Binks – Young Stars in our Backyard

22nd Nov 2021 at 7:30 pm 9:30 pm

Age is a vital property to get right in astronomy, but it’s really tricky!

Correctly estimating the age of a star (or a cluster of stars) means we can test our understanding of the sequence of events throughout a star’s life. On larger scales this leads to clues about the evolution and ecology of our Galaxy (and the Local Universe), whereas on smaller scales this feeds into our narrative about how planets outside our Solar System evolve and helps us measure physical quantities in our search for an Earth 2.0.

It’s hard work though, and the road to accurate stellar ages is littered with red herrings, imposters and uncertainties!

In this talk I’ll try and share with you some of the main methods used in estimating stellar ages, how precise we think each method is (which itself is hotly debated), how the enormous troves of new data in the past few years is helping us, and how we could improve age estimations in the future.

Online via Zoom