Streaming | Meet an Astronomer | Zach Hartman | Bowling for Turkeys
May 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
Meet an Astronomer | Zach Hartman | Bowling for Turkeys: Searching for the Triples, Quadruples and More in Wide Binary Systems
Wide stellar binaries are double stars with separations of more than 100 times the Earth-Sun distance. Because they are born as siblings and yet are only weakly bound to each other, they are crucial tools for astronomers wishing to study how stars are born, how they move around the Galaxy and how they interact with other stars or with dark matter. How many there are, and how they end up delicately tied to each other at birth, is something we still know very little about. In this talk, Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Associate Zach Hartman will describe how his team has discovered over 100,000 wide stellar binaries using new data from the Gaia space mission. He will discuss how our ongoing search for not just simple wide binary stars, but also complex triple stars (and quadruple stars, and more) in these systems could hold the key to revealing how wide binaries formed at different epochs and in different places in our Galaxy.
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