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The complicated lives of stars

Figure 1: These diagnostic diagrams show stellar evolution simulations of massive and very massive stars (colourful labels in solar mass units). These are stellar lives in the Milky Way (left), in the Small Magellanic Cloud (middle) and in a metal-poor dwarf galaxy (right). One line on these diagrams belongs to one star’s whole life from birth to death. Their brightness is shown to change on the vertical axis, and their apparent ‘colour’ (surface temperature, with lower values meaning red and higher, blue) on the horizontal axis. These simulations can give a boost to research on how new stars are born and how old stars die.

Theoretical Astrophysics group Cologne - TAC

Our research deals with the numerical modelling of the star formation process by means of high-performance, 3D, magneto-hydrodynamical (MHD) simulations. The simulations cover large spatial scales from ISM physics on kpc scales over molecular clouds on scales of 10 - 100 pc to star forming filaments on (sub-) pc scales and finally to protostellar discs and jets on scales of 10 - 1000 AU.

In our research group we use several tools like the (M)HD codes FLASH, GADGET, GANDALF , the astrochemical code KROME, 3D-PDR or radiative transport codes like RADMC-3D and POLARIS.

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Walch-Gassner is the head of the SILCC project (SImulating the life Cyle of molecular Clouds), a collaboration of several European astrophysical institutes, which has set the aim to model the formation, evolution, and dispersal of molecular clouds in 3D, MHD simulations with particular focus on a detailed astro-chemical modelling and the inclusion of various feedback processes.

Contact information:

  • Phone: (+49|0) 221 / 470 - 3497
  • Fax: (+49|0) 221 / 470 - 5162
  • Email: walch [at] ph1.uni-koeln.de

Consultation hours

upon agreement in Room 1.14, Building 312