BAA Summer Webinar

Please visit the BAA YouTube Channel to watch the recordings.

11:00  Dr Nicolas Peretto –‘The earliest stages of stellar cluster formation’

The formation of stellar clusters dictates the pace at which galaxies evolve, and solving the question of their formation will undoubtedly lead to a better understanding of the Universe as a whole. While it is well known that star clusters form within parsec-scale over-densities of interstellar molecular gas called clumps, it is, however, unclear whether these clumps represent the high-density tip of a continuous flow that gradually leads towards the formation of stars, or a transition within the gas physical properties. Here I will present a recent detailed analysis of sample of molecular clouds where star clusters are currently forming, focussing primarily on the gas dynamical state. This study shows that one of the first stages towards the formation of star clusters if the dynamical decoupling of the clumps from their parent molecular cloud, most likely in the form of the clumps’ rapid collapse. 

14:30 Dr Amy Bonsor – ‘Planet-eating White Dwarfs’

We live in an epoch of exoplanet discovery. We now know several thousand planets around stars other than our Sun. Almost all of these stars, our Sun included, will end their lives as the faint remnants of their former selves, known as white dwarfs. But what happens to their planetary systems?
In this talk, I will discuss our knowledge of planetary systems around white dwarfs. One unique piece of evidence comes from a sub-set of white dwarfs where their spectra show the signature of planetary material having entered the white dwarf atmosphere.

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