Christina Schoettler, final-year PhD student at the University of Sheffield, talks to CyberCafeSci about runaway stars.
Cafe Scientifique is a national movement for science and technology in casual settings: each has its own character but all are fun, engaging, informal and explore fascinating ideas in science and technology.
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Most stars form in grouped or clustered environments with other stars. These stars-forming regions can survive millions of years, but can change dramatically over just a short period of time – either collapsing under their own gravity or expanding. So what we see today might not be what they looked like initially when they formed. While a cluster is contracting or expanding, stars can pass very close to each other. This can lead to stars being flung out of the cluster to become runaway stars. In this talk, I will discuss how simulations and observations are used to investigate these interactions in young star-forming regions. If the number of runaway stars can tell us anything about the initial conditions of these regions. And how observations from telescopes like Gaia, which orbits in space, can be used to search for these ejected stars in the night sky.
Christina Schoettler, final-year PhD student, came to astronomy after 15 years working in industry. After studying physical science with the Open University for her Bachelors, then Astrophysics for her Masters at Liverpool John Moores University via distance learning, she’s now studying full time for her PhD at the University of Sheffield and due to finish next year to continue working in academia.
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