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2018-10-02, 15:00, Dr. Tony Moffat (Université de Montréal), Probing Massive Stars with the BRITE Nanosatellites

Dr. Tony Moffat

Université de Montréal

Probing Massive Stars with the BRITE Nanosatellites


Launched in 2013-2014, the five independently functioning BRITE (BRIght Target Explorer) nanosats – each costing “only” about 2M$ – are now producing excellent science data on the variable properties of a significant fraction of the brighter visible stars in the sky – over 400 stars to date. Equipped with a 30 mm telescope and an uncooled CCD detector along with either a blue or red optical filter, each satellite is producing high-precision light curves over 5-6 months non-stop with a typical precision of 1 part in a thousand during about 20 minutes of each 100-minute satellite orbit. With a 24-degree field, up to 30 stars brighter than about 6th magnitude can be observed simultaneously. The science mainly involves determining asteroseismic properties and spot rotations of stars to probe their interior and surface structure, as well as the study of binary stars. Sample results will be presented and discussed for some bright O and WR stars.

Location: 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2

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