Massive Stars: Fundamental Parameters and Circumstellar Interactions (Workshop to celebrate the 70th birthday of Professor Virpi Niemela)

December 11 - 14, 2006

Venue: Hotel Marcin, Carilo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Massive stars, though relatively few in number and short-lived, outshine all of their numerous less massive neighbors and rule their environments, from the onset of their strong stellar winds to their deaths in core-collapse supernova explosions. Massive stars dissociate, ionize, photoevaporate, and mechanically transform their parental molecular clouds and generate circumstellar bubbles. Massive stars also produce many of heavy metals and are thus an essential source of the chemical enrichment observed in our solar system. The binary or multiple nature of many of these objects adds further dimensions to their phenomenology and evolution, such as stellar-wind interactions and mass transfer. While the basic features of the evolution of both single and binary massive stars are understood, many challenges remain to a full understanding of their pre- through post-main-sequence stages, including internal mixing and mass loss as functions of mass, metallicity, rotation, and magnetic fields. The zoo of peculiar evolved objects and the specific progenitor configurations of the various types of core-collapse supernovae remain research frontiers.

Virpi Niemela has been an active and prolific researcher on massive stars for about four decades and the La Plata Massive Stars Research Group would like to celebrate her 70th birthday by hosting a scientific meeting focused on her field of endeavor.

In this conference, we aim to review and discuss all present knowledge about massive stars, with a view toward the coordination of efforts to advance our understanding of this important subject.