University of Toronto
An improved understanding of the lifecycle of massive stars benefits every subfield in astrophysics. Through their ionizing radiation, powerful stellar winds, nucleosynthesis, and deaths as supernova (SN) explosions, massive stars give birth to black holes and neutron stars, while stoking the dynamical and chemical evolution of the universe. Although the study of massive stars is one of the oldest subfields in astronomy, the recent advent of wide-field time-domain surveys has launched an upheaval in field of stellar evolution. In this talk I will highlight on-going efforts to constrain the evolution, influence, and ultimate fate of massive stars, using observations of both transient phenomena and resolved massive star populations in local group galaxies. Within this context I will also discuss several aspects of the recent discovery of an electromagnetic counterpart to the neutron star merger identified by LIGO/Virgo.
About the speaker
Maria Drout is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. She is an observational astronomer who studies the evolution and death of massive stars and the origin of peculiar astronomical explosions. She was previously a NASA Hubble Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena. received her Ph.D. from Harvard, M.A.St from the University of Cambridge, B.Sc. from the University of Iowa, and is originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
More details on Maria's research can be found here.