Massive Stars as Cosmic Monsters

July 6 2017

Venue: NAM (UK) National Astronomy Meeting (Hull, England)

The discovery of gravitational waves from the merger of two Black Holes -- with masses 30-40 times that of the Sun -- has raised the question of how our Universe was capable of producing such large masses. These stars must have been very massive to begin with, and should not have lost much mass during their lives, hinting at a low metallicity environment.

We propose to bring together experts in blue massive OB, Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars, red supergiants (RSGs), and both canonical and superluminous supernovae (SNe), as well as massive binaries, including high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) and ultra-luminous X-rays sources (ULXs).

We will bring together stellar evolution theorists and observers of massive stars in the Milky Way and the local low-metallicity Universe (LMC, SMC) as well as larger distances at higher redshift, including Ly alpha emitters and Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) to tackle the question
of how the properties, evolution, and fate of massive stars in the earlier Universe is fundamentally different from that at solar metallicity.

Finally, we will discuss the role of massive stars for the line emission seen in high redshift galaxies and their role in cosmic reionisation.

SOC: Jorick Vink (Chair), Elizabeth Stanway & Ben Davies

Invited speakers:

Jose Groh (Dublin):
"The surprising look of massive stars before death"

Miriam Garcia (Madrid):
"Towards the first (very massive) stars of the Universe: First Stop"

Rebecca Bowler (Oxford):
"No evidence for Population III stars or a Direct Collapse Black Hole in the z = 6.6 Lyman-alpha emitter CR7"