Get a Look at Biggest and Brightest Stars at Astronomy Lecture Feb. 25

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology’s Department of Physics and Space Sciences will host the next Astronomy and Astrophysics Public Lecture on Feb. 25. Guest lecturer Roberta Humphreys, University of Minnesota (UM), will present “The Biggest, the Brightest and Best Stars.” The free presentation will be held on campus from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, Room EC118. Weather permitting, rooftop public star viewing will follow.

In her presentation, Humphreys will put the largest and most luminous stars in perspective with respect to our sun and solar system. The non-technical talk will conclude with some interesting results from the Hubble Space Telescope on the biggest and brightest stars and their massive eruptions.

Humphreys joined the University of Minnesota in 1972. She was the youngest among only five female faculty members. Today, she is the director of undergraduate studies in the university’s Astronomy Department. Her current research interests include luminous stars, stellar evolution, optical spectroscopy and galactic structure.

With her husband, Kris Davidson, Humphreys is also credited for discovering the Humphreys-Davidson limit, an upper limit to the masses of stars that could evolve to become red supergiants.

Other accolades include being named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, the first woman named a University of Minnesota Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor and numerous awards such as the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award.

The F.W. Olin Engineering Complex is located on West University Boulevard. For more information, call (321) 674-7207or

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