Found 108 talks archived in Stars

Wednesday December 2, 2009
Dr. Elisa Delgado Mena
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


The surface abundance of lithium on the Sun is 140 times less than protosolar, yet the temperature at the base of the surface convective zone is not hot enough to burn Li. A large range of Li abundances in solar type stars of the same age, mass and metallicity is observed, but theoretically difficult to understand. An earlier suggestion that Li is more depleted in stars with planets was weakened by the lack of a proper comparison sample of stars without detected planets. Here we report Li abundances for an unbiased sample of solar-analogue stars with and without detected planets. We find that the planet-bearing stars have less than 1 per cent of the primordial Li abundance, while about 50 per cent of the solar analogues without detected planets have on average 10 times more Li. The presence of planets may increase the amount of mixing and deepen the convective zone to such an extent that the Li can be burned. We also present Be abundances for a sample of stars with and without known planets and discuss the possible relation of these light element with the presence of planetary systems.

Friday November 20, 2009
Dr. Pasi Hakala
Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland


I present some recent results from our Optical and NIR studies of five short period low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXB's; X1822-371, X1957+115, UW CrB, X1916-05 and X0614+091). Optical photometry and spectroscopy reveal some surprising results on the geometry and evolution of accretions discs in LMXB's. Based on our data, it is increasingly clear that accretion discs in these systems are far from being stable and must undergo substantial precession and/or warping behaviour on timescales less than a day in case of the shortest period systems.

Friday November 20, 2009
Dr. Robert Williams
Space Telescope Science Institute, USA


Spectroscopic observations of novae date back a century, and the fundamental nature of the outburst has been understood for 50 years. Yet, recent observations suggest possible major modifications to the standard nova paradigm. A high-resolution spectroscopic survey of novae has revealed short-lived heavy element absorption systems near maximum light consisting of Fe-peak and s-process elements. The absorbing gas is circumbinary and it must pre-exist the outburst. Its origin appears to be mass ejection from the secondary star, implying large episodic mass transfer events from the secondary that initiate the nova outburst. The spectroscopic evolution of novae is interpreted in terms of two distinct interacting gas systems in which the bright continuum is produced by the outburst ejecta but absorption and emission lines originate in gas ejected by the secondary star in a way that may explain dust formation and X-ray emission from novae.

Thursday November 12, 2009
Dr. Aníbal García Hernández
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars are a principal source of gas and dust input into the interstellar medium, being an important driver of chemical evolution in galaxies. Rubidium is a key element to distinguish between high mass (~4-8 M⊙) AGB stars and low mass (~1-4 M⊙) AGBs - high mass AGBs are predicted to produce a lot of rubidium as a consequence of the genuine nucleosynthetic processes (the s-process) that characterise these stars. The Magellanic Clouds (MCs) offer a unique opportunity to study the stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis of AGB stars in low metallicity environments where distances (and so the star's luminosity) are known. We present the discovery of extragalactic rubidium-rich AGB stars in the MCs confirming that the more massive AGB stars are generally brighter than the standard adopted luminosity limit (Mbol~-7.1) for AGB's. In addition, massive MC-AGBs are more enriched in Rb than their galactic counterparts, as it is qualitatively predicted by the present theoretical models; the Rb over-abundance increase with increasing stellar mass and with decreasing metallicity. However, present theoretical models are far from matching the extremely high Rb overabundances observed.

Wednesday October 7, 2009
Dr. Gavin Ramsey
Armagh Observatory, UK


Ultra Compact Binaries are predicted to be the strongest known sources of gravitational waves in the LISA pass-band. Since they are at the short period end of the orbital period distribution (<70 mins), their number is a sensitive test of binary evolutionary models. The best method to detect these short period systems, whose optical light is dominated by an accretion disk and show optical intensity variations on timescales close to their orbital period, is through deep, wide-field, fast-cadence photometric surveys. The RaTS (Rapid Temporal Survey) project is unique in that it is sensitive to variability on timescales as short as 2 mins and systems with V~22. Our strategy and initial results will be presented.

Thursday October 1, 2009
Dr. David Bersier
Liverpool John Moores University, UK


Long suspected on theoretical grounds and supported by tantalising observational evidence, the connection between supernovae and gamma-ray bursts was definitely established in 2003. Since then, a number of events have forced us to revise what we thought we knew about SNe and GRBs. This SN/GRB connection went from tentative to definitive, to maybe not, to maybe in most cases. I will briefly review the major milestones along this road and describe the situation as it is today.

Friday September 11, 2009
Dr. Ignacio Negueruela Díez
University of Alicante, Spain


The last decade has brought the discovery of a large number of massive (M > 10000 M?) young open clusters in the Milky Way, which had previously not been thought to exist. I will present a brief review of these discoveries, with strong emphasis on the use of these clusters as astrophysical laboratories. I will also present the very recent discovery of a number of massive clusters concentrated towards a small region of the Scutum Arm, providing evidence for the existence of starburst activity on a much larger scale than previously assumed.

Thursday September 3, 2009
Dr. Sergio Simón
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


The Orion star forming region is an ideal laboratory for many astrophysical studies. In this talk I will present a study of the chemical composition of early B-type stars in the Orion OB1 association. The main ideas I will talk about are: (1) The importance of self-consistent spectroscopic techniques for the abundance analysis in this type of stellar objects; (2) the study of the homogeneity of abundances in stars from the various stellar subgroups in OriOB1; (3) the comparison of O stellar abundances with recent Solar determinations; (4) the comparison of stellar abundances with those resulting from the analysis of the emission line spectra of the Orion nebula (M42); (5) the study of the oxygen depletion onto dust grains in the Orion nebula. La región de formación estelar de Orión es una laboratorio perfecto para muchos tipos de estudios en astrofísica. En esta charla me centraré en el estudio de abundancias de las estrellas de tipo B temprano presentes en la asociación OriOB1. Las principales ideas que presentaré son: (1) La importancia de los análisis espectroscópicos detallados en la determinación de abundancias en estrellas de tipo B temprano; (2) el estudio de la homogeneidad química de los distintos subgrupos estelares que componen OriOB1; (3) la comparación de la abundancias estelares de oxígeno con determinaciones recientes en el Sol; (4) La comparación de abundancias estelares con aquellas obtenidas a partir de análisis del espectro de M42, la nebulosa de Orion; (5) el estudio de la depleción de oxígeno en granos de polvo en la nebulosa de Orión.

Tuesday June 23, 2009
Prof. Rafael Guzmán
University of Florida, USA


In the local universe, galaxies fall into one of two populations: a star-forming blue cloud and a red sequence lacking star formation. At redshift z ~ 1.5, however, the red sequence has yet to develop. Over the past 9 Gyrs some process has quenched star formation in blue galaxies and caused them to evolve onto the red sequence by fading and/or merging of their stellar populations. While such a transformation may be occurring across the full range of masses, the highest rate of evolution occurs in massive starbursts at the luminous end of the blue cloud. These galaxies are the Luminous Compact Blue Galaxies (LCBGs). In this talk I present preliminary results of a comprehensive multiwavelength survey of LCBGs from z ~ 0 to z ~ 3 we will be carrying out over the next 5 years using several space and ground-based observatories, including the GTC.

Friday May 22, 2009
Dr. Christina C. Thöne
Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (OAB), Italy


Long gamma-ray bursts are supposed to be connected to the death of very massive stars. Due to their brightness, we can detect them to much larger distances than supernovae. Using them as powerful lightsources, they allow us to study star-forming high redshift galaxies and their interstellar medium in great detail with medium and high resolution spectroscopy. Despite the large redshift ranged spanned by GRBs, there is surprisingly little evolution in the properties of their host galaxies which might indicate that GRBs can only occur under certain conditions. This can be investigated from a few bursts at very low redshifts where we can resolve their host galaxies e.g. with integral field spectroscopy. The immediate surroundings might allow us some conclusions on the progenitors of GRBs.

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