A merger between two stars may sound like an exotic event, but for massive stars this is not rare at all. About a quarter has a companion that is so close that the two stars will coalesce to form a new rejuvenated star (Sana, de Mink et al. Science 2012). In this paper we simulate the evolution of the stars and their interaction processes. We predict the incidence of stellar mergers and other products of binary evolution among a typical stellar population. Furthermore we show that these products typically appear to be single stars. Published in Astrophysical Journal, De Mink et al. (2014).
Seventy percent of all O-stars is expected to interact with a binary companion during it’s life. The mass changes resulting from such interactions and stellar winds leave characteristic signatures in stellar mass function of young star clusters. Using these we model the mass functions of the Arches and Quintuplet cluster accounting for binary interaction and derive an age of 3.5+/-0.7 Myr and 4.8+/-0.1 Myr. Based on our simulations, we expect the most massive 9+/-3 stars in Arches and 8+/-3 in Quintuplet to be the product of binary evolution. We propose this as a solution to the long standing age controversy for these clusters and we discuss the implications for the upper stellar mass limit
ApJ in press, SCHNEIDER, IZZARD, DE MINK , LANGER, STOLTE, DE KOTER, GVARAMADZE, HUSSMANN, LIERMANN & SANA
Today the first data of my very first own Hubble proposal is coming in. I feel excited as a child. Especially since I am from the generation that grew up as children with pictures from Hubble. And now, finally the first data is coming in. Still unprocessed and it is not yet clear how good the data is, but it looks so pretty already.
The most massive stars end are believed to end their lives as Wolf-Rayet stars, very hot and luminous. In this study the spectrum of an extremely hot and bright ionizing Wolf-Rayet star, DR1, is analyzed. The star is embedded in … Read More »