Stellar evolution

Stellar evolution refers to the life-cycle of a star, typically including the evolutionary phases from protostar until stellar death (as a supernova, black hole, neutron star, white dwarf, etc.).  Related studies include research on the process of stellar evolution and the early (star formation) and late (explosion or collapse to compact object) stages of a star’s life.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Fragkou et al. present multiple pieces of evidence for the association of planetary nebula BMP J1613-5406 with Galactic open star cluster NGC 6067. Stars in the cluster evolve off the main sequence at about 5 solar masses, suggesting that this planetary nebula had a massive progenitor and supporting theoretical predictions of the mass range of planetary nebula progenitors.

    • V. Fragkou
    • , Q. A. Parker
    • , A. A. Zijlstra
    • , L. Crause
    •  & H. Barker
  • Research |

    Leveraging the precision of K2 and TESS, Bowman et al. have detected variability in galactic and Magellanic blue supergiants that is due to low-frequency gravity waves in their interiors.

    • Dominic M. Bowman
    • , Siemen Burssens
    • , May G. Pedersen
    • , Cole Johnston
    • , Conny Aerts
    • , Bram Buysschaert
    • , Mathias Michielsen
    • , Andrew Tkachenko
    • , Tamara M. Rogers
    • , Philipp V. F. Edelmann
    • , Rathish P. Ratnasingam
    • , Sergio Simón-Díaz
    • , Norberto Castro
    • , Ehsan Moravveji
    • , Benjamin J. S. Pope
    • , Timothy R. White
    •  & Peter De Cat
  • Research |

    A new calibration of the surface brightness–colour relation of eclipsing binary stars gives a distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud that is precise to one per cent.

    • G. Pietrzyński
    • , D. Graczyk
    • , A. Gallenne
    • , W. Gieren
    • , I. B. Thompson
    • , B. Pilecki
    • , P. Karczmarek
    • , M. Górski
    • , K. Suchomska
    • , M. Taormina
    • , B. Zgirski
    • , P. Wielgórski
    • , Z. Kołaczkowski
    • , P. Konorski
    • , S. Villanova
    • , N. Nardetto
    • , P. Kervella
    • , F. Bresolin
    • , R. P. Kudritzki
    • , J. Storm
    • , R. Smolec
    •  & W. Narloch
    Nature 567, 200-203
  • Research |

    In this work, more than fifty late-time nebular spectra of stripped-envelope supernovae are studied in order to understand more about the massive-star progenitors of these objects. Type Ib and IIb progenitors are largely indistinguishable; type Ic progenitors likely have more massive carbon–oxygen cores.

    • Qiliang Fang
    • , Keiichi Maeda
    • , Hanindyo Kuncarayakti
    • , Fengwu Sun
    •  & Avishay Gal-Yam
    Nature Astronomy 3, 434-439
  • Research |

    Photometry and parallax data from the Gaia satellite provide direct observational evidence of a theoretically predicted pile-up in the cooling sequence of white dwarfs, which is associated with core crystallization.

    • Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay
    • , Gilles Fontaine
    • , Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo
    • , Bart H. Dunlap
    • , Boris T. Gänsicke
    • , Mark A. Hollands
    • , J. J. Hermes
    • , Thomas R. Marsh
    • , Elena Cukanovaite
    •  & Tim Cunningham
    Nature 565, 202-205
  • Research |

    A serpentine plume of dust around a Wolf–Rayet binary indicates the presence of an anisotropic colliding-wind system in which one of the components is likely to be rapidly rotating. Spun-up Wolf–Rayet stars are thought to be long gamma-ray burst sources.

    • J. R. Callingham
    • , P. G. Tuthill
    • , B. J. S. Pope
    • , P. M. Williams
    • , P. A. Crowther
    • , M. Edwards
    • , B. Norris
    •  & L. Kedziora-Chudczer
    Nature Astronomy 3, 82-87

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The stellar initial mass function (IMF) is the key to understanding the matter cycle in the Universe. Edwin Salpeter’s paper of 1955 founded this research field. Evidence today, however, challenges the initial mass function as an invariant probability distribution function.

    • Pavel Kroupa
    •  & Tereza Jerabkova
    Nature Astronomy 3, 482-484
  • News and Views |

    Zirconium alloys are widely used as cladding material in nuclear reactors due to their neutron transparency. Now, it is shown that 88Zr has a surprisingly high neutron capture cross-section exceeding that of other zirconium isotopes by six orders of magnitude.

    • Stephan Heinitz
    •  & Ulli Köster
    Nature Physics 15, 208-209
  • Research Highlights |

    Cosmological hydrodynamics simulations reveal the possible formation of supermassive stars within metal-free primordial gas haloes. These stars are thought to be the origin of supermassive black holes.

    • Anastasiia Novikova