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Stellar Forensics with the Most Powerful Explosions in the Universe

March 19, 2020

When: March 19, 2020 3:30PM

-- Canceled -- Maryam Modjaz

New York University

Supernovae (SNe) and Long-duration Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are exploding stars and constitute the most powerful explosions in the universe. Since they are visible over large cosmological distances, release elements heavier than Helium, and leave behind extreme remnants such as black holes, they are fascinating objects, as well as crucial tools for many areas of astrophysics, including cosmology.

However, for many years the fundamental question of which stellar systems give rise to which kinds of explosions has remained outstanding: for Type Ia SNe used for cosmology as well as for Superluminous SNe and long-duration GRBs that must originate from special kinds of massive stars. I will discuss the exciting recent progress that we have made on this question in key areas by publishing and thoroughly analyzing the largest data sets in the world at the time. I will conclude with an outlook on how the most promising venues of research - using the existing and upcoming innovative large time-domain surveys as well as follow-up resources, such as Zwicky Transient Facility+LCO and LSST - can shed new light on the diverse deaths of stars.

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