Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Stellar Adventures

November 17, 2021, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Co-sponsored with UMKC Cockefair Chair

Three sessions via Zoom webinar on November 3, 10 and 17, 2021

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Click here to register


Course overview

In partnership with UMKC Cockefair Chair, the Library is pleased to present Professor William Ashworth’s annual Cockefair Course via Zoom broadcast. The course will consist of three sessions via Zoom webinar on Wednesdays, November 3, 10, and 17, from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. One registration covers all three sessions. If you missed the first session, a recording of the lecture is available online to watch. 

The Stellar Adventures course 

The stars as points of light have been known and observed since ancient times, and the Greeks cataloged and named many of them. But the stars didn’t really DO anything except go around once a day, so very little was added to our knowledge of them for 1800 years. They were mapped into gorgeous star atlases in the 17th century, but no one had any idea what stars really are, until the 18th century when it was discovered that stars move relative to one another. In 1838, the distance to a star was finally measured, and their remoteness became apparent. By 1859 we learned that light from stars carries a code, in the form of dark spectral lines, that tells us what stars are made of. By 1913, we knew stars come in a great variety of sizes and temperatures, and by 1920 it became clear that stars must be continually born in vast galactic dust clouds and are just as continually dying out, sometimes violently. The 1950s brought us awareness of really peculiar stellar forms – black holes, pulsars, quasars — and the stars continue to surprise us, down to the present day. We will discuss how we came to understand the composition, birth, evolution, and death of stars, and learn about some of the great stellar astronomers and astrophysicists, such as Edmond Halley, Friedrich Bessel, Henry Norris Russell, Maarten Schmidt, and Stephen Hawking. As always, there will be an abundance of illustrations to accompany the discussion. 

The instructor 

William Ashworth, Ph.D.Associate Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas Cityis a historian of science, with an emphasis on the Renaissance and early modern periods. His research interests focus on Renaissance and early modern natural history and early scientific illustration, especially emblematic imagery. Dr. Ashworth is also a consultant for the history of science at the Linda Hall Library, where he writes the Library’s daily blog, the Scientist of the Day, and has curated or co-curated 28 rare book exhibitions, many of which are available online. 

Accessing the program 

Registration is $40 per person; $35 for Linda Hall Library Foundation donors. The registration fee is for all three sessions: November 3, 10, and 17.

The course will take place via Zoom webinar. Registration is open now and will remain open through the final live session on November 17. By registering, participants will receive links to all three live sessions via Zoom.

The Linda Hall Library encourages people of all backgrounds and abilities to participate in our public programs.  Closed captioning is provided.  If you require additional reasonable accommodations in order to participate, please contact events@lindahall.orgor call 816.926.8753 at least 24 hours in advance of the event.  

Click here to register


Once you register for this event, you will receive email communications from the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. You may choose to opt out of these communications at any time. Your contact information will not be sold or provided to any third parties.  


November 17, 2021
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , ,


Linda Hall Library
View Organizer Website



Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

Make a gift and support free programs for all. Give now.