Orsola De Marco

Current Work

Binary Intaractions: PhD projects

In the last few years powerful telescopes have come on line that can monitor big swaths of sky every night. This has created the first detailed movie of the nigh sky and astronomers have been surprised to see just how many flashes can be seen. Some of these flashes are due to stellar pairs interacting with one another. When this happens bright explosions and outbursts take place which we can now finally observe. Yet when we try to reconstruct what goes on during these interactions we find that it is not so easy. Without a viable theory of stellar interaction many mysteries go unsolved. Among them the understanding of several types of supernovae, gamma ray bursts and the emission of detectable gravitational waves. In the suite of projects I offer the student will learn to use a number of fluid dynamic computer codes to model stellar interactions and collisions. In particular I work with the smooth particle hydrodynamics code known as PHANTOM and the gid code known as Enzo.

The student will be able to chose one of a number of sub-projects starting from the interaction of planets with their mother star to the interaction of much more massive stars in very eccentric orbits. Each project is in collaboration with national and international partners. Below are a couple of examples, along with a publication from past work, but I am interested in collaborating with prospective students to design the project they want to undertake.

Example 1: star-planet interaction. What happens to a star when it interacts with its planetary system? A first investigation can be foind here (Staff et al. 2016).

Example 2: How is mass transfered between two stars that interact and how does that transfer change the system and create jets and outbursts? A first publication on that topic can be found here (Staff et al. 2016b).

Example 3: what is the light emitted (and possibly observed on Earth) when such and interaction takes place? A first publication can be found here (Galaviz et al. (2017)).

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Last Update: 29 March 2018