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“The Chemical Makeup of Stars"
Thursday, 05 March 2020
Video-Recording for any system with MP4-support
- Video.mp4 (ca.378 Mb)
15:15 – 16:15
(Department of Astronomy (SU))
Stars – large or small, alive or dead, quiescent or exploding – are the fundamental
engines behind the cosmic enrichment cycle of elements. Slowly but steady,
through generation after generation, the stardust that we all are made of has been
accumulated since the dawn of cosmic time. This process can be studied by highly
dispersed stellar spectra, in which the strengths and shapes of absorption lines
help us unravel the chemical composition of these luminous balls of gas.
Starlight escapes from a thin layer at the stellar surface – the stellar atmosphere –
which for solar-type stars is characterized by convective cells, thousands of degrees hot,
constantly appearing and disappearing. Through the light-collecting power of large
telescopes and multiplexing capabilities of new spectrographs, millions of stars in our
Galaxy and its smaller satellite galaxies can be studied in great detail.
Deciphering the stellar spectra in terms of chemical abundances is however highly
non-trivial and requires accurate models of the physical conditions and energy transport
throughout the atmosphere. Equipped with cutting-edge observations and theoretical
models, stellar spectroscopy can unravel not only the origin of elements, but also the
formation and evolution of individual stars, of star clusters, and even of entire galaxies.
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