Award for Eva Laplace’s visualization software TULIPS

30 Nov
Eva Laplace
Eva Laplace

Eva Laplace (final year PhD student at University of Amsterdam ) has been awarded the KNMW/ET outreach award for her software project TULIPS that allows to visualize computer simulations of the lives of stars. She is an astrophysicist at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy where she is working on her PhD thesis investigating the lives and deaths of massive binary stars.

Being frustrated with the many unintuitive and cluttered diagrams that are often used in scientific papers, she started to design her own visualizations. What started as a way for her to better analyze the results of her computer simulations of the complexities of the deep interiors of stars that are at the brink of their final explosions, quickly gave her impact when showing these to colleagues at international conferences. Being passionate about teaching and outreach, she realized quickly how her diagrams could be animated and also help students develop a better understanding of how stars work and make her results accessible to the general public.

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Recorded Colloquium at Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

27 Sep
Colloquium recording Sept 26, 2019, Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA.

From Birth to Chirp – Astrophysics of Massive Stars as Gravitational Wave Progenitors.

Abstract: How did they form?’ is a question many asked when LIGO announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves originating from two surprisingly heavy stellar-mass black holes. With masses of about 30 solar masses each, they outweighed all of the known black holes known from X-ray binaries. Now, four years after the first detection, alerts of new triggers come in at a rate of almost one per week. The analysis of the first eleven events has been published and we learned that the first system was not exceptional: the majority of detected events involve heavy black holes. In parallel, classical telescopes have been revolutionizing our understanding of the properties of young massive stars.

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Final Kiss of Two Stars Heading for Catastrophe (ESO press release)

21 Oct


Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers have found the hottest and most massive double star with components so close that they touch each other. The two stars in the extreme system VFTS 352 could be heading for a dramatic end, during which the two stars either coalesce to create a single giant star, or form a binary black hole.

Almeida, Sana, de Mink et al. ApJ in press,  preprint


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