Speaker: Dr. Phil James - Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University
How much do stars 'know' about the galaxy in which they form and evolve?
Until recently, the answer seemed to be 'Surprisingly little': stars were thought to form with similar properties (particularly masses) in all environments that could be studied in detail.
Recent observations of the violent bursts of star formation that occur in the cores of colliding galaxies are challenging this view, however.
I will discuss new evidence on this question, based on the analysis of supernova explosions which mark the deaths of the most massive stars, and will explore the consequences of different modes of star formation for our understanding of stellar populations and galaxy evolution.