Colloq Abstract - Chomiuk

by Hubertus Intema last modified Mar 14, 2017 by Lori Appel

May 19

11am Mountain

Laura Chomiuk  (MSU)

Rethinking the Fundamentals of Classical Nova Explosions

Abstract

The observational capabilities of the Jansky VLA and Fermi/LAT are leading us to reconsider much of what we know about classical novae, the most common and brightest astrophysical explosions in our sky. I will present our new result--- that the bolometric luminosity of nova explosions is not dominated by a hot white dwarf, as believed for decades, but is instead produced by energetic shocks. In turn, we can use radio interferometers to image both the shock (synchrotron) regions and the bulk of the (thermal) nova ejecta. The combination of these facilities allows us to study astrophysical shocks, relativistic particle acceleration, and even common envelope evolution in unprecedented detail. I will also discuss the promise of NGVLA for further enriching our understanding of stellar explosions.