Live-streamed Lectures

About SFAA Live-streamed Lectures

Once monthly, the SFAA hosts distinguished guest speakers who are leaders in the fields of astronomy, physics and related disciplines. The speakers present to the public and SFAA members the latest developments from cutting-edge scientific programs.   To view archived lectures, click here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  the monthly lectures are being made available by live stream.  Use your computer or mobile device to connect to the links provided below.


16 June 2021, 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“An Astronomical Perspective on Globular Clusters, Binary Stars, and Planet Earth”


Adrienne Cool, Professor of Astronomy, San Francisco State University

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. I will also touch on some interesting connections between this work and the LIGO discoveries of binary black holes via gravitational waves. Finally, I will describe ways in which the astronomical perspective can be harnessed in the struggle to preserve our planet's habitability, invite you to share your thoughts about this, and introduce Astronomers for Planet Earth, an organization that I helped to found in 2019.

Brief Bio

Dr. Adrienne Cool is a native of New York City, and received her undergraduate degree in physics at Yale. After brief stints in medical imaging and Electrical Engineering, she happened on astronomy, and hasn’t looked back. She completed her PhD at Harvard in 1994 and came to California for a postdoc at UC Berkeley. She is now at San Francisco State University, where she and her students have been studying ordinary and extraordinary stars in Globular Clusters since 1996. Adrienne Cool is also the director of the SF State Planetarium and Observatory.

In 2019 she co-founded "Astronomers for Planet Earth" (, an organization of astronomers and astronomy educators aimed at harnessing the astronomical perspective to help combat the climate crisis.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting "live" with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 16th by clicking this Zoom meeting link:

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting. If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video.

"Doors Open" at 6:30pm and the announcements and lecture will start promptly at 7:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel:

SFAA Facebook: