Found 105 talks archived in Stars

Video
Tuesday March 13, 2012
Dr. Kerstin Geissler
European Southern Observatory

Abstract

We present the completion of a program to cross-correlate the SDSS Data Release 1 and 2MASS Point Source Catalog in search for extremely red L and T dwarfs. The program was initiated by Metchev and collaborators, who presented the findings on all newly identified T dwarfs in SDSS DR1, and estimated the space density of isolated T0--T8 dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood. In the current work we present most of the L dwarf discoveries. Our red-sensitive (z-J > 2.75 mag) cross-match proves to be efficient in detecting peculiarly red L dwarfs, adding two new ones, including one of the reddest known L dwarfs. Our search also nets a new peculiarly blue L7 dwarf and, surprisingly, two M8 dwarfs. We further broaden our analysis to detect unresolved binary L or T dwarfs through spectral template fitting to all L and T dwarfs presented here and in the earlier work by Metchev and collaborators. We identify nine probable binaries, six of which are new and eight harbour likely T dwarf secondaries. We combine this result with current knowledge of the mass ratio distribution and frequency of substellar companions to estimate an overall space density of 0.005--0.05 pc^{-3} for individual T0--T8 dwarfs.


Video
Thursday March 1, 2012
Dr. Selma de Mink
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore

Abstract

Although they are rare and short-lived, massive stars play a major role in Universe. With their large luminosities, strong stellar winds and spectacular explosions they act as cosmic engines, heating and enriching their surroundings, where the next generation of stars are forming. 
The latest stellar evolutionary models show that rotation can have drastic effects, which has been suggested as a evolutionary path for the progenitors of long gamma-ray bursts. I will discuss the recent efforts of theorists and observers to understand the effects of rotation including some highlights of the ongoing "VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey of Massive Stars". A further challenge arises from the preference of massive stars to come in close pairs. Interaction with a companion leads to spectacular phenomena such as runaways, X-ray binaries and stellar mergers. I will present new results on the true close binary fraction for massive stars, which imply that only a minority evolve undisturbed towards their death.

Video
Tuesday February 28, 2012
Dr. Almudena Alonso Herrero
Instituto de Astrofísica de Cantabria, Spain

Abstract

Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIR=10^11-10^12Lsun) have star formation rates in the range of ~20-200Msun/yr. In the local Universe ~50% LIRGs show AGN or AGN/SB composite nuclear activity from optical spectroscopy. We decompose Spitzer/IRS 5-35micron spectra of a complete sample of 50 local (d<75Mpc) LIRGs using SB and AGN clumpy torus model templates. We derive a mid-IR AGN detection rate in our sample of local LIRGs of 50%. We also compare the continuum mid-IR AGN detection with other indicators in the mid-IR, optical and X-rays. We estimate for the first time the AGN bolometric contribution to the IR luminosity of the galaxies in local LIRGs. We find that one-third of local LIRGs have LAGN(bol)/LIR>0.05, with only ~10% having a significant contribution LAGN(bol)/LIR>0.25. This is in line with results of Nardini et al. (2010) that only at LIR>3x10^12Lsun the AGN starts dominating bolometrically the IR luminosity in the majority of the systems.


Video
Tuesday February 14, 2012
Dr. Carsten Weidner
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

Over the past years observations of young and populous star clusters have shown that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) can be conveniently described by a two-part power-law with an exponent alpha2 = 2.3 for stars more massive than about 0.5 Msol and an exponent of alpha1 = 1.3 for less massive stars. A consensus has also emerged that most, if not all, stars form in stellar groups and star clusters, and that the mass function of these can be described as a power-law (the embedded cluster mass function, ECMF) with an exponent beta ~2. These two results imply that the integrated galactic IMF (IGIMF) for early-type stars cannot be a Salpeter power-law, but that they must have a steeper exponent. An application to star-burst galaxies shows that the IGIMF can become top-heavy. This has important consequences for the distribution of stellar remnants and for the chemo-dynamical and photometric evolution of galaxies.


Video
Thursday January 26, 2012
Mr. Thomas de Boer
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract

We present the detailed Star Formation History of the nearby Sculptor and Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxies, from wide-field photometry of resolved stars, going down to the oldest Main Sequence Turn-Off. The accurately flux calibrated, wide-field Colour-Magnitude Diagrams are used directly in combination with spectroscopic metallicities of individual RGB stars to constrain the ages of different stellar populations, and derive the Star Formation History with particular accuracy.
The detailed Star Formation History shows the star formation at different ages and metallicities, at different positions in the galaxy, and shows that the known metallicity gradients are well matched to an age gradient. The obtained SFH is used to determine accurate age estimates for individual RGB stars, for which spectroscopic abundances (alpha-elements, r- and s-process elements) are known. In this way, we obtain the accurate age-metallicity relation of each galaxy, as well as the temporal evolution of alpha-element abundances.
This allows us to study, for the first time, the timescale of chemical evolution in these two dwarf galaxies, and determine an accurate age of the "knee" in the alpha-element distribution. Finally, we compare the timescale of chemical evolution in both dwarf galaxies, and determine whether the chemical abundance patterns seen in galaxies with recent episodes of star formation are a direct continuation of those with only old populations.


Video
Tuesday January 24, 2012
Dr. Nanda Rea
Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai, Spain

Abstract

I will review our current knowledge of soft gamma repeaters (SGR) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXP), two peculiar classes of pulsars believed to be 'magnetars', i.e. neutron stars powered by a huge magnetic field. Recent studies of transient events from SGRs and AXPs allowed a large jump in our understanding of these objects, although they also prompted new unanswered questions. In particular, the recent discovery of a low magnetic field magnetar is causing a re-think of some of the basic ingredients of the magnetar model.


Video
Thursday January 19, 2012
Dr. Stan Owocki
Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware, USA

Abstract

Massive stars lose mass through powerful, radiatively driven stellar winds. Building on the original "CAK" model for steady, spherical winds driven by line-scattering, this talk will review recent research on the multi-faceted nature of such wind mass loss under varied conditions, for example due to rapid rotation, magnetic channeling, binary interaction, or a luminosity near the Eddington limit. An overall theme is that wind mass loss can in this way lead to a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena, including bipolar nebulae, massive star magnetospheres, colliding winds or compact companion accretion, and luminous blue variable eruption. The discussion here will summarize these with an emphasis on their varied observational signatures.


Video
Thursday January 12, 2012
Dr. Javier Alonso-García
Universidad Pontificia de Chile, Chile

Abstract

A serious limitation in the study of the Galactic inner halo and bulge globular clusters has been the existence of large and differential extinction by foreground dust. We have mapped the differential extinction and removed its effects, using a new dereddening technique, in a sample of 25 clusters in the direction of the inner Galaxy, observed in the optical using the Magellan 6.5m telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope. We have also observed a sample of 33 inner Galactic globular clusters in the framework of the VVV survey that is currently being conducted with the new Vista 4m telescope, in infrared bands where the extinction is highly reduced. Using these observations we have produced high quality color-magnitude diagrams of these poorly studied clusters that allow us to determine these clusters relative ages, distances and chemistry more accurately and to address important questions about the formation and the evolution of the inner Galaxy.


Video
Tuesday December 20, 2011
Dr. Nancy Elías de la Rosa
IEEC, Spain

Abstract

Supernovae are at the heart of some of the most important problems of modern astronomy. To fully understand their importance and to enable their use as probes of stellar evolution throughout cosmic time, it is
absolutely essential to determine their stellar origins, i.e., their progenitors or progenitor systems. Even with over 5600 known SNe, we have only direct information about the progenitor star for a handful of explosions. Based on the statistics of 20 SNe II-P for which progenitors have been isolated or upper mass limits established, it has been derived a
more limited range of 8-17 solar masses for these stars, and it appears that all of these progenitors exploded in the RSG phase, as we would theoretically expect. However there has been no detection of a higher mass stars in the range 20-40 solar masses, which should be the most luminous and brightest stars in these galaxies. Therefore, I will present here the
results of our group in the analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and deep ground-based images, isolating the massive progenitor stars of several recent core-collapse supernovae.


Video
Thursday December 15, 2011
Dr. Miguel Ángel Aloy
University of Valencia, Spain

Abstract

Long Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most dramatic examples of massive stellar deaths, usually associated with supernovae (Woosley et al. 2006). They release ultra-relativistic jets producing non-thermal emission through synchrotron radiation as they interact with the surrounding medium (Zhang et al. 2004). Here we report observations of the peculiar GRB 101225A (the "Christmas burst"). Its gamma-ray emission was exceptionally long and followed by a bright X-ray transient with a hot thermal component and an unusual optical counterpart. During the first 10 days, the optical emission evolved as an expanding, cooling blackbody after which an additional component, consistent with a faint supernova, emerged. We determine its distance to 1.6 Gpc by fitting the spectral-energy distribution and light curve of the optical emission with a GRB-supernova template. Deep optical observations may have revealed a faint, unresolved host galaxy. Our proposed progenitor is a helium star-neutron star merger that underwent a common envelope phase expelling its hydrogen envelope. The resulting explosion created a GRB-like jet which gets thermalized by interacting with the dense, previously ejected material and thus creating the observed black-body, until finally the emission from the supernova dominated. An alternative explanation is a minor body falling onto a neutron star in the Galaxy (Campana et al. 2011).



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