Speaker: Melinda Soares-Furtado, UW Astronomy Department
Abstract: What are the observable effects induced by substellar ingestion? Do we have any hope of unambiguously detecting such signatures? In this talk, I address these open questions, describing my efforts to unveil stellar hosts that have ingested their substellar companions within open cluster environments. Such sources will offer valuable constraints to test stellar evolutionary models. Moreover, they will provide a rare opportunity to directly measure the bulk composition of substellar companions. I will describe the challenges of modeling the substellar disassociation process, particularly as it pertains to dense brown dwarf companions. I will review promising engulfment-derived chemical and rotational tracers. Lastly, to detect these cannibal stars, I will emphasize a need for targeted photometric and spectroscopic surveys among stars in open clusters.