Research Division Seminar
Interacting Transients and Stellar Mergers
Modern unbiased search surveys reveal a dynamic Universe filled with transient phenomena, many of which stem from supernova explosions. The intense brightness of supernovae is powered by the decay of radioactive nuclei. However, recent findings suggest that numerous optical transients are influenced by their surrounding environment. The presence of circumstellar matter (CSM) around massive stars significantly impacts the observable characteristics of supernova explosions. Furthermore, traditional notions of massive stellar evolution are inadequate when binary mergers occur. Unusual properties observed in massive stars, such as rapid rotation and enhanced surface abundances, indicate that binary interactions and mergers affect both pre-supernova evolution and the surrounding environments through merger-induced mass loss. I will present the results of cutting-edge 3D hydrodynamic and stellar evolution simulations, which elucidate how mergers shape the post-merger evolution of massive stars and their environments, with implications for impending supernovae. These findings will be compared to observations of Betelgeuse, a renowned red supergiant star demonstrating accelerated surface rotation and N-14 enrichment.
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