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Blue straggler stars: Stars that shouldn't really be there?

Ordinary Meeting 20th April 2018

Topic: Blue straggler stars: stars that really shouldn't be there?
Speaker: Chengyuan Li, Macquarie University 
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Star clusters are nurseries of star formation. Almost all stars in galaxies are born in clustered environments. Stars within a single star cluster are born at roughly the same time, because their parental molecular clouds will quickly exhaust the gas supply available for star formation. However, almost all old "globular" clusters contain stars that are much younger than most regular cluster member stars. Such stars are called blue straggler stars. Where do they come from? How did they form after all the gas was already exhausted in the cluster? In this talk, I will review our understanding of blue straggler stars, including their formation scenarios and the observational evidence. I will also introduce our recent discovery of blue straggler stars in a cluster in a nearby galaxy, which has thrown up a confounding new mystery that severely challenges general explanations proposed for thier origins.
Biography: Chengyuan Li is currently working at Macquarie University as a Research Fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to coming to Australia, Chengyuan worked at Purple Mountain Observatory in China as a Project Research Fellow and was awarded his PhD in the Department of Astronomy in Peking University with a thesis  on "Not-so-simple stellar populations in massive star clusters". Chengyuan has undertaken observation time with the Hubble Space Telescope in a project "Searching For Multiple Populations in Massive Young and Intermediate Age Clusters". 


Event Date: 
Friday, 20 April, 2018 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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