University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Colloquium

Friday, November 3rd 2017
Speaker: Ori Fox, Space Telescope Science Institute
Subject: Supernovae, Their Progenitor Systems, and...Kilonovae!
Refreshments to be served in the MIfA Interaction Area (Tate 285-11) following the colloquium.

Despite the robust empirical supernova (SN) classification scheme in place, the underlying progenitor systems remain ambiguous for many SN subclasses, particularly stripped-envelope SNe. Mounting evidence over the past decade suggests that the mass loss in a large fraction of these systems occurs due to binary interaction. To date, however, only two binary companions have been detected: SNe 1993J and 2011dh. Here I will present an ongoing observational campaign with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to understand SN progenitors and the binary fraction, which has direct implications on the theoretical physics of binary evolution. In contrast, the progenitors of kilonovae are thought to be well known, but a number of questions still exist. While not normally part of my talk, I cannot avoid setting aside some time to discuss the excitement surrounding GW170817, with a focus on HST's contribution to our understanding of the explosion and progenitor system.

Faculty Host: Patrick Kelly

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