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Astronomy Colloquium
Implications of gravitational wave detections for stellar astrophysics
Date: Thursday, May 2nd
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:15 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins 3:45 PM
Speaker: Lidia Oskinova, University of Potsdam
Abstract: Stars with masses much higher than our Sun end their short lives in a gravitational collapse, leaving neutron stars and black holes behind. The detections of gravitational waves (GW) brought massive star astrophysics into the new era. A comprehensive understanding of massive star lives and deaths is urgently required to fully unleash the power of multi-messenger astronomy. In this talk I will briefly review what we presently know about massive stars, and highlight the key problems in our current understanding of neutron star and black hole progenitors. I will present our recent results from the study of massive stars in the SMC galaxy, which suggest that evolutionary paths of very massive stars at low and high metallicities are significantly different . Finally, I will discuss what the recent GW observations already have told us about massive stars, and how the different scenarios for the GW progenitors could be tested by massive star astrophysics.
Host: Professor Emeritus Jay Gallagher
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