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Supernovae Insights: A Global Supernova Expert on What These Star Explosions Reveal About Nearly Everything

July 20, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

$25 Ally Price: FREE
Headshot of smiling man in front of a bookshelf.

Supernovae — colossal star explosions — are illuminating in more ways than one. For celebrated supernova researcher Dr. Andrew Howell, these dramatic celestial events are a treasure trove of insights, shedding light on topics from extreme physics to human history. 

Dr. Howell knows supernovae well: He’s helped discover several new classes of supernovae, and even the first kilonova — a merger of neutron stars that explains the origins of some of the universe’s heaviest elements. And as the Principal Investigator of the Global Supernova Project, he leads a worldwide collaboration of researchers who are observing 1,000 supernovae more intensely than at any point in history.

In “Supernovae Insights,” Dr. Howell will share remarkable discoveries — from his own observations to those of his colleagues and predecessors. Along the way, we’ll learn how these phenomena play a role in the origin of elements and the creation of black holes. We’ll ponder their historical impacts on human culture, their contributions to Big Bang and dark energy research, and how they can even help us probe the origins of the universe itself. And we’ll get a preview of how new technologies and expanding observatories will continue to drive our discoveries — and our wonder.



Dr. Andrew Howell leads the supernova group at the Las Cumbres Observatory and is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After receiving his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, he became a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he helped to confirm the acceleration of the universe, for which his mentor, Saul Perlmutter, was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. After that Dr. Howell moved to the University of Toronto, where he helped make the best measurements of the dark energy driving the acceleration of the universe. 

Dr. Howell is also the Principal Investigator of the Global Supernova Project. He’s one of the highest cited researchers in the world and co-author on more than 300 scientific papers. His group’s co-discovery of the first kilonova was widely heralded as the biggest scientific discovery of 2017, and Dr. Howell was selected by the National Science Foundation as one of a handful of scientists to make the official announcement in Washington, D.C.

He appears on and hosts radio and television shows about science for outlets such as National Geographic, The History Channel, Discovery+, and the BBC. As an accredited film critic, he writes for sites such as Film Threat and Ain’t It Cool News. He’s co-creator, writer, and host of the show Science Vs. Cinema, which talks to both scientists and the cast and crew of films about the science portrayed in movies. He’s been a scientific consultant for books, comic books, and TV shows, and regularly gives public talks all over the world.


Dr. Andrew Howell
July 20, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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