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March 1999

Is Our Sun a Typical Star?

by George Best
March Meeting

Guellero Gonzales
University of Washington

Wednesday, March 17
7:30 p.m.

A-102 Physics-Astronomy Building
University of Washington

Come early at 7 p.m. to visit
with your fellow members.

Bring your slides for after
the program.

Is our Sun a typical star? Guillermo Gonzales, post-doctoral research associate at the University of Washington, will answer that question at the March Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) meeting. The subject is not a simple one and the answer may surpr ise you.

Gonzales, who spoke at the September meeting about planets outside the solar system, is primarily interested in studying the late stages of stellar evolution through the use of spectroscopic observations. His recent work includes spectroscopic abundanc e analysis of post-AGB supergiants and RV Tau variables.

He has also undertaken a study of the parent stars of the recently discovered extra-solar planetary systems.

The results indicate that these stars have anomalous chemical abundances, suggesting some sort of unusual formation history. When he spoke in September, 17 stars had been discovered with planets around them. Now, six months later, far more stars with p lanets may have been discovered. Last September, all extra-solar planets were Jupiter-sized, but since then Earth-sized planets may be added to the list. Knowledge in this field is increasing fast.

The Seattle Astronomical Society meeting will be on March 17 at 7:30 p.m. in room A102 of the Physics-Astronomy building on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

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