This talk will be in two parts. I will begin by sharing some results from my research on globular clusters following a brief introduction to these fascinating and ancient structures. In particular, I will focus on the role that binary stars play in cluster dynamics and show some examples of how my students and I have been searching for these binaries using space-based observatories. Time permitting, I will make a brief detour into possible connections of this work to the LIGO discoveries of binary black holes. The second part of my talk will focus on a project that grew out of a realization that the astronomical perspective is valuable and can be harnessed in the struggle to preserve our planet's habitability. The organization that I helped to found, Astronomers for Planet Earth, now comprises 700+ astronomers and astronomy educators from 41 countries worldwide. I will describe our goals, some of our current activities, and invite you to share your thoughts on how we can collectively make progress on this urgent matter.
Speaker: Adrienne Cool, San Francisco State University
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