Astronomy & Astrophysics Seminar: Drama Preceding Stellar Death
Prof. Jim Fuller, Caltech
A renaissance in stellar astrophysics currently underway, driven by asteroseismology, wide-field surveys, and supernova observations. In the late phase evolution of massive stars, vigorous convection excites gravity waves that can carry huge amounts of energy through the star. Wave energy deposition near the surface can drive outbursts, expansion, and enhanced mass loss in the final years before core-collapse, potentially leading to interaction-powered supernovae. Additionally, low-mass helium stars expand rapidly at the end of their lives, which can drive intense mass loss in the presence of a binary companion. Finally, I will examine new discoveries of binary white dwarfs with sub-hour orbital periods, discussing implications for their formation, common envelope evolution, gravitational wave signals, and their impending demise.
Seminar Organizer: Prof. Dan Maoz