From a 'train wreck' in the sky, a star is born

What happens when galaxies merge? Learn the answer during a free lecture at 7 p.m., March 9, in Bateman Physical Sciences Center F-173 on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The speaker will be astrophysics graduate student Karen Knierman from the school of Earth and Space Exploration, and the title will be “Train Wrecks of Galactic Size:  Merging Galaxies and the Stars They Form.”

Knierman said, “We will explore the beautiful displays and weird contortions that happen when galaxies merge. These mergers also host new star formation in their centers as well as out in the far-flung debris of the collisions. Recent studies at ASU using Arizona telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope will be highlighted.”

Following the lecture, which is part of a series of astronomy lectures, there will be a short telescope viewing, weather permitting. For more information on the lecture series, go to