April 14 Meeting and Lecture – Supernovae Remnants

The next AAAP meeting will be on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in Bowen Hall: (see Princeton campus maps for building and parking locations).  Luke Hovey, a PhD candidate at Rutgers University, will speak to the club about his research on supernovae remnants. A meet-the -speaker dinner for AAAP members will begin at Winberries on Palmer Square at 6:00 pm.  Please RSVP to S. Prasad Ganti if you will attend the dinner.

Supernovae are among the most energetic astrophysical events of which we know with energies on the order of 3 x 10^28 (30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) megatons of TNT. The explosion of their progenitors does not mark the end of the story, but another beginning as the chemically enriched ejecta that is blown outward enriches the gasses in galaxies. Shockwaves of these supernova remnants can trigger and quench periods of star-formation in stellar nurseries, and are thought to be the point of origin of the bulk of cosmic rays that we observe today. We will take a journey exploring the conditions and possible mechanisms of these stellar explosions and explore the astrophysical significance and usefulness in these cataclysmic events.

Luke Hovey is in final semester in the physics PhD program at Rutgers University.  He works with Professor Jack Hughes on young supernova remnants of Ia origin in the Large Magellanic Cloud.  He has  been making proper motion measurements of the forward-shocks in these remnants with multi-epoch Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging.  Using these measurements he is able to place limits of the age of these supernova remnants, as well as diagnosing areas where efficient Cosmic ray acceleration may be occurring.  He is also able to use these measurements to constrain the search areas for possible progenitor companions of these supernovae.

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