Natural History Society of Maryland
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Natural History Society of Maryland

Exploding Stars and You: An Elemental Origin Story

  • 01 Apr 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom


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Hydrogen and helium atoms were made in the big bang, but where did all of the heavier elements come from? They were cooked up in stars and, in some cases, blasted into existence in cataclysmic explosions called supernovae.  For example, the iron in our blood and in our pyrite crystals exists because dead stars called white dwarfs collapse and explode in supernovae blasting newly formed atoms into space. Mike Seeds combines his experience as an astronomer with his love of minerals to trace the different ways stars have made the atoms in minerals and in our bodies. Mike’s talk is illustrated with photos of exploding stars and beautiful minerals.

Mike Seeds is Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has enjoyed minerals since childhood, and his wife and daughter joined him in the family hobby of geology and minerals. When they attended mineral shows, Mike most enjoyed the micromounters showing off tiny minerals under their microscopes. He bought his first microscope in 1999 and has been making micromounts ever since. He is past president of the Baltimore Mineral Society and has been editor of the club newsletter for over 10 years. He is Symposium Chair of the Desautels Micromount Symposium held each October.  He has written over 100 articles about micromounting called Shoebox Adventures which have been reprinted in club newsletters around the world. Mike was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame in 2020.

The Natural History Society of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and contributions are tax-deductible.

The mission of the Natural History Society of Maryland is to foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural heritage by conserving its natural history collections, educating its citizenry, and inspiring its youth to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

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