Description: 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 galaxies. Within this context I will also briefly discuss several implications for the prospects of additional electromagnetic counterparts to neutron star mergers during the on-going LIGO/Virgo Observing Run 3.
Speaker: Dr. Maria Drout
Institution: University of Toronto, Dunlap Inst.
Host: James Wadsley