Stellar physics department

The research activity of the department can be divided into two main blocks: "Stellar Physics and exoplanets '' and" Astrophysics robotics and high energy ''. In the first block various aspects of stellar physics are studied: stellar variability, stellar statistics, star clusters, atmospheres and stellar evolution, stellar pulsations, asteroseismology, stellar activity, low-mass stars and exoplanets. The second line of research focuses on the study of transient objects, ranging from close meteors to distant gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Most studies for these transient deal with the final stages of stellar evolution, ie, neutron stars, magnetars, and especially GRBs for which intensive research is an ongoing activity.

Both thematic blocks are supported by solid instrumental projects, both from the ground (PANIC, CARMENES, BOOTES, OCTOCAM) and from space (CoRoT, KEPLER, PLATO).

Stellar physics and exoplanets

This block focuses on the study of different aspects of physics and evolution of stars: stellar variability due to intrinsic causes of the star itself or due to exoplanet transits or other extrinsic causes as binarity or multiplicity; stars as static objects, atmospheres and stellar evolution, stellar pulsations including asteroseismology. We usually study main sequence variables stars of spectral type early B-F, with special attention to pulsating stars in the lower band instability of Cepheids. We also work with very low mass stars, M dwarf stars, and the variability that occurs in them for different reasons: activity, rotation, pulsation, multiplicity and exoplanets.

The scientific activity of this group is divided into two main lines of research:

High energy anf robotics astrophysics

The group of High Energy and Robotics Astrophysics (ARAE) of the IAA-CSIC has several objectives, both scientific and technological. The main fields of research are: i) compact objects in the Galaxy and ii) cosmic GRB. In the first case, the group has identified two candidates in the optical band supporting the black hole mass transfer model and determining the mass function in one case. Group members discovered the high energy source GRS 1915 + 105 and concluded that it is a low-mass binary, this source becoming the prototype of galactic microquasars. They also studied the peculiar SWIFT J195509 + 261406 source, most likely a neutron star hunted during their transition from a magnetar to a weak isolated neutron star. In relation to cosmic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the group conducted the first multi-range study of an optical counterpart of GRB in mm (radio), IR (ISO) and optical (Hubble Space Telescope), in the case of GRB 970508, which supported the standard fireball model. They also conducted a detailed study of GRB 990213, which involved a collimated jet, with important consequences on the energy released by the system. Scientists from the group also proposed the existence of an underlying supernova (never seen before) for GRB (GRB 980326), which was later supported by the light curve of GRB 991208 and GRB 030329 (spectroscopically). The group participated in the detection of GRB 090423 at z = 8.2, the most distant object in the universe at that time. In parallel, members of ARAE have participated in technological developments within European Space Agency, as instruments X-ray JEM-X on board of the ESA INTEGRAL Observatory and participate in the UFFO-p experiment aboard the international Lomonosov mission. Finally, the ARAE group is a pioneer in the field of Robotics astrophysics in Spain, having developed the Global BOOTES optical robotic telescopes of 0.6m (one operating in the IR) with high-speed cameras as well as all-sky high sensitivity cameras (which has led to several patents).

A line of research involving very important components of this group is Astrophysical transients.

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