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Astronomy Colloquium - “Dynamical Processing” of Stars and Planets Through Star Clusters

Event Type
Department of Astronomy
Astronomy 134
Feb 17, 2015   3:45 pm  
Aaron GellerCIERA & Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at Northwestern University, andDept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics at The University of Chicago
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar

Most stars are born in clustered environments that are far denser than the Solar Neighborhood.   Yet, star clusters can be hostile environments, where close stellar encounters can be frequent and can have violent consequences, including direct stellar collisions.  Such encounters can dramatically alter stellar and planetary systems, and can produce exotic stars that define new pathways in stellar evolution.   Understanding how, and to what extent, such “dynamically processing” occurs in star clusters may be critical for our understanding of the architectures of today’s observed stellar and planetary systems, as well as the origins of X-ray sources, blue stragglers and other exotic stars.  In this talk, I will discuss results from our ground- and space-based observations and sophisticated N-body numerical simulations that are beginning to reveal a highly accurate and detailed picture of the impacts of the dynamical environments of star clusters on their inhabitants.

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