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What's Up with Betelgeuse?
February 24th, 2020 7:30pm
A Talk with Griffith Observatory Astronomical Lecturer Dr. David Reitzel
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Have you noticed that Betelgeuse, the bright red star on the shoulder of Orion, has slowly faded to about half of its usual brightness? What is happening? Is Betelgeuse about to explode? What signs should we expect to see before Betelgeuse goes supernova? Are we in any danger, and will the Sun suffer the same fate? Griffith Observatory’s own Dr. David Reitzel has all the answers.



DAVID REITZEL, Ph.D., has been the Astronomical Lecturer at Griffith Observatory since 2008 and is a correspondent at All Space Considered, Griffith Observatory’s monthly astronomy news program. He manages and trains the Museum Guides, helps update exhibits, and programs the Zeiss Mark IX Universarium star projector in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

Dr. Reitzel graduated with a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Southern California. He earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he became the first person to study the Andromeda Galaxy by obtaining spectra of individual red giant stars with the Keck telescopes. David is an experienced observer and has participated on teams that used the HST, GALEX, and Spitzer space telescopes. His research interests include stellar evolution, galaxy formation and evolution, exoplanets, and the exploration of our solar system.


(L) "Orion," plate 29 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by A familiar treatise on astronomy... by Jehoshaphat Aspin. 1825.

(R) The arrow points to Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion.


Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m. The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The Stellar Emporium will be closed.



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Reservations are required to access event parking and enter Griffith Observatory. In the case of sold-out shows, ticket sales will close. There is no wait-list. All registration closes FEBRUARY 24, 4:00 p.m.

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