University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Seminars > Live Fast Die Young: The Evolution of Massive Stars towards their Death: Rotation, Binarity and Mergers

Live Fast Die Young: The Evolution of Massive Stars towards their Death: Rotation, Binarity and Mergers

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  • UserSelma de Mink (Amsterdam)
  • ClockWednesday 17 December 2014, 14:30-15:30
  • HousePhysics West 117.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ilya Mandel.

Massive stars are rare and short-lived. Nevertheless, through their extreme brightness, strong outflows and powerful explosions, they heat and stir their surroundings, drive outflows on galactic scales, and are responsible for the main production the heavy elements in the Universe. Because of their large impact, evolutionary models of massive stars are an essential ingredient for a wide variety of astrophysical problems.

New insight – in particular concerning the importance of binarity and rotation – is raising severe questions about the validity of the widely-used classic stellar models, that many fields in astrophysics rely on. I will discuss advances on the modeling side as well as ongoing surveys that are providing for the first time large and homogenous data sets, including stars with estimated initial masses up to a 300 solar masses.

Arguably the developments in this field call for a critical reconsideration of our understanding of the role that massive stars play in the Universe: (1) as Cosmic Engines through their chemical, mechanical and radiative feedback, (2) as Cosmic Probes, e.g. as tracers of starformation nearby and at high redshift, and (3) in the diversity of Transients they produce.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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