A Star is Born

Mar 09, 2023 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Campus, PAB 102/103

Nia Imara (UCSC) In Person and zoom

The birth of stars is one of the most complex problems challenging modern astrophysics. Understanding their origins is of fundamental importance to many areas of astronomy, from exoplanet studies to cosmology. While the study of the initial conditions of star formation in molecular clouds has accelerated during the past couple of decades, at the same time, new data and discoveries have exposed new mysteries regarding the birth of stars. In this talk, I will outline the current state of our understanding of stellar nurseries and present some innovative approaches toward advancing our knowledge of these environments in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond.  With an eye toward the future, I will highlight some breakthroughs that have been achieved—as well as those we would like to achieve—in our journey to unravel the mysteries of star birth.

Nia Imara is an artist and astrophysicist whose body of work reflects her love for vibrant color, people, and their stories. Currently an astronomy professor at UC Santa Cruz, Dr. Imara explores the mysteries of star birth in the Milky Way and other galaxies throughout the universe.  Her work at the intersection of science and art led to the creation of the first 3D-printed stellar nurseries.  Imara founded the Equity and Inclusion Journal Club at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 2018.  And she is the founder/director of Onaketa, a nonprofit that provides free STEM tutoring and other educational resources to black and brown youth.