Thursday, 23rd July 2020 (19:45 - 21:00)
Venue: Virtual Meeting
I’ll be talking about white dwarfs, their formation and evolution and how astronomers use them as clocks, particularly in binaries. I’ll then talk a little bit about my research on white dwarfs with very low mass companions - brown dwarfs.
White dwarfs are the end state of stellar evolution for most stars. These Earth sized degenerate objects are extremely hot, cool over time, and the majority have pure hydrogen atmospheres. By monitoring their cooling, we are able to use them as a clock to determine the age of companion stars. Metal pollution in their atmosphere reveals information about the interstellar medium, and also the remnants of destroyed rocky planets. I will talk about the fundamental properties of white dwarfs and what they reveal about their environments and companions.