Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Stellar Evolution — Dr Robin Catchpole

October 8, 2007

After the Flamsteed AGM Dr Robin Catchpole talked to us about stellar evolution — “Are we stardust, or nuclear waste”.  Robin is now with the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.  Until 2004 he was Senior Astronomer at the ROG, where he conceived the geometry of the truncated cone for the Peter Harrison Planetarium.  He spent most of his earlier career based in South Africa at the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria then the SAAO in Cape Town.

Robin’s talk is delivered with complete clarity and an assurance that comes from total command of his subject.  He covers the entire life-cycle of stellar evolution from the Big Bang to Black Holes.  Robin’s talk contains some fairly challenging physics and his use of images and diagrams was particularly appreciated, especially his flow-chart of ‘Galactic Ecology’.  Read more at the NMM fact file web feature.


Read more at —

NMM/ROG Fact File

Wikipedia on stellar evolution

Cornell H-R simulation (requires Java)

NASA Stellar Evolution

Gene Smith’s Astronomy Tutorial

Dr Robin M. Catchpole: “Stellar Evolution — The Life & Death of Stars”  ROG/NMM Booklet

Dr Robin Catchpole by Mike DrylandDr Robin Catchpole by Mike DrylandDr Robin Catchpole by Mike Dryland

Star Birth — The Pillars of Creation in M16, the Eagle Nebula (Credit: J Hester/P Scowen; ASU/HST/NASA)

Star old age — Eta Carinae

(Credit: NASA/HST/WFPC2 J Hester ACU)

Star Death — The Crab Nebula

(Credit FORS Team, 8.2m VLT, ESO)

Flowchart Galactic Ecology by Dr Robin Catchpole  ©  NMM

Galactic Ecology by Dr Robin Catchpole  © NMM

Dying Star — Cats-eye Nebula

(Credit: NASA/ESA)