We'll be meeting a week late, but we have a program worth waiting for! Our Oct 20 meeting, at the Lanesville Community Center, will feature Dr. Bill Waller, with a presentation titled "Surfing the Galactic Froth." As it turns out, space is not so empty after all, but instead is shot through with frothy stuff.
According to Dr. Waller, this phenomenon arises mostly from microscopic grains of dust, irradiated and warmed by stars within our Galaxy’s disk, and concentrated in nebular regions of recent star formation and subsequent stellar death.
There's a lot we can learn from these complex emissions, which provide a record of processes that have structured and powered the interstellar medium for the past 100 million years. Some of these features can be described in terms of “filaments,” “loops,” and “shell fragments,” while others appear more random – consistent with turbulence and other processes.
In his usual colorful and irreproducible style, Dr. Waller will consider some of the hot stars, intense stellar winds, and supernova explosions that power the galactic froth, and will present recent images of this nebular emission from three nearby galaxies.