VU Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Friday, September 12, at 3:20 PM in NSC 224. Join us for refreshments in NSC 231 at 3:05 PM.

"Spectroscopy of Dying Stars"


Dr. Bruce Hrivnak, Valparaiso University

Spectroscopy provides an powerful tool for determining the chemistry of stars and their surrounding nebulae. In this talk, I will describe our program to use high-resolution spectroscopy from large ground-based telescopes to determine the chemical composition and atmospheric properties of evolved, dying stars. These are stars that began like the Sun but which have evolved through the red giant stage and lost their outer gaseous layers. They show interesting abundance patterns that give us insight into nucleosynthesis in the star and condensation in the surrounding nebula. Satellite infrared spectroscopy can give us insight into the composition of the dust that formed in the nebula. The talk will highlight research that I carried out while a sabbatical visitor at several international institutions during the past academic year.