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Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium
Big Stars and Their Little Friends
Morgan MacLeod, Postdoctoral Fellow, Theoretical Astrophysics, CFA / Harvard,

Today's talk will discuss two examples of stellar evolution interrupted by close companion objects. Most of stellar lifetimes are spent undergoing gentle evolution on the nuclear timescale of millions to billions of years. But there are more dramatic, transient episodes that occur when stars have close companions. In these cases, we have the privilege of seeing these stars transformed on timescales as short as days in the time-domain night sky. I'll tell the stories of a binary star with tides so extreme that they break after every peripase passage of the system's eccentric orbit, and of a star caught in the act of swallowing its close-in planetary companion. 

To view this talk via YouTube, please visit:

For more information, please contact Dimitri Mawet by email at [email protected] or visit