Dr. Hrivnak Publishes Papers, Travels for Conferences

10 October 2011


Prof. Bruce Hrivnak (Physics & Astronomy) recently presented papers at two international conferences, based in large part on observations made by VU students at the campus observatory.  The conferences dealt with the late stages in the life cycles of stars and their physical, chemical, and pulsational properties.   His talks dealt primarily with the pulsational properties of evolved stars, such as amplitude and period of pulsation, but they also included discussion of some chemical properties determined from satellite infrared observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope.  The conferences were held in Warsaw, Poland and Granada, Spain; they also provided excellent opportunities for interact with present and potential international research collaborators.  The second talk included as coauthors Mr. Wen Lu and senior student Kristie Shaw (Physics & Astronomy).


Earlier this year, Professor Hrivnak co-authored two research papers.  The first was a search of a sample of evolved stars surrounded by nebulae, to see if any of them show evidence of a binary companion that may be responsible for the interesting shapes of the nebulae.  The second involved the discovery and study of an interesting chemical feature in the dust nebulae around a sample of evolved stars in a nearby galaxy.  These were published in the Astrophysical Journal.  This research is funded by the National Science Foundation.