Stellar News

<span><span><span><span><span><span>Black-hole binary tests supernova theory</span></span></span></span></span></span>

Observations of a newly discovered binary star system combined with advanced models of stellar collapse have provided key insights into the formation of stellar mass black holes. A team of international researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI), University of Copenhagen, conclude that massive black holes can form without a bright supernova explosion. The energy from the collapse is carried away mainly by lightweight neutrino particles with only small asymmetry, leading to a small natal kick for the black hole. more

A new spin on Betelgeuse’s boiling surface

Betelgeuse is a well-known red supergiant star in the constellation Orion. Recently it has gained a lot of attention, not only because variations in its brightness led  to speculations that  an explosion might be imminent, but also because observations indicated that it’s rotating much faster than expected. This latter interpretation is now put into question by an international team led by astronomers at Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, who propose that Betelgeuse’s boiling surface can be mistaken for rotation even in the most advanced telescopes. Other astronomers are actively analyzing new observational data to test such hypotheses. more

What happens when a star approaches a black hole?

In dense stellar environments, interactions between stars and stellar-mass black holes should occur frequently. Through hydrodynamical simulations, researchers at MPA have explored how stars are disrupted in such encounters, varying key parameters such as stellar and black hole masses, stellar age, and approach distance. The study quantifies the impact of these initial parameters on stellar remnants' masses, spins, and trajectories, offering insights into cluster dynamics and providing best-fit formulae for post-disruption parameters. more

ESA gives go-ahead for flagship gravitational-wave observatory in space

LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, has passed a major review with flying colours: the entire concept – from the definition of the overall mission and operations to the space hardware to be built – stood up to the intense scrutiny of ESA´s reviewers. Now the space agency´s Science Programme Committee (SPC) has confirmed that LISA is sufficiently mature and that mission development can proceed as planned. LISA should go into orbit in the mid-2030s. more

What happens if you put a black hole into the Sun?

In a hypothetical scenario, small, primordial black holes could be captured by newly forming stars. An international team, led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, has now modelled the evolution of these so-called “Hawking stars” and found that they can have surprisingly long lifetimes, resembling normal stars in many aspects. Asteroseismology could help to identify such stars, which in turn could test the existence of primordial black holes and their role as a component for dark matter. more

Spirals, waves and gliding along

While concerned with massive objects such as neutron stars and black holes in her work, Martyna Chruslinska loves the lightweight feeling of figure skating in her spare time. more

Most energetic stellar collisions in the Universe

In dense stellar environments, stars can collide. If there is a massive black hole nearby – at the centre of galaxies – these collisions can be so energetic that the two stars are completely destroyed upon collision, leaving behind an expanding gas cloud. While the collision itself can generate a very luminous flare for several days, there might be an even brighter flare that can last up to many months, as the gas cloud is captured by the nearby black hole. A research team led by MPA has estimated the observables of such powerful events for the first time using the two state-of-the-art codes AREPO and MESA, developed at MPA. more

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