ASTR 605 – Interstellar Medium
Mar 13 @ 8:55 am – 10:10 am
ASTR 500 – Graduate Seminar
Mar 13 @ 11:50 am – 12:50 pm
Astro-ph Discussion
Mar 13 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Astro-ph Discussion @ AY119
ASTR 630 – Astronomy Statistical Analysis
Mar 14 @ 9:30 am – 10:20 am
ASTR 621 – Planetary Science II
Mar 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
ASTR 625 – Cosmology
Mar 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
ASTR 605 – Interstellar Medium
Mar 15 @ 8:55 am – 10:10 am
Inclusive Astronomy
Mar 15 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Astro-ph Discussion
Mar 15 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Astro-ph Discussion @ AY119
Colloquium Thesis Proposal: Drew Chojnowski
Mar 15 @ 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Colloquium Thesis Proposal: Drew Chojnowski @ Domenici Hall 102

The Circumstellar Disks and Binary Companions of Be Stars

Drew Chojnowski, NMSU

Tremendous progress has been made over the past two decades toward understanding Be stars, but a number of key aspects of them remain enigmatic. The unsolved mysteries include identification of the mechanism responsible for disk formation, the reason this mechanism occasionally turns off or on unexpectedly, the source of viscosity in the circumstellar disks, and the cause of slowly precessing density perturbations in the disks of many or most Be stars. On a deeper level, the origin of Be stars’ near-critical rotation is unknown, with one possible explanation being spin-up due to interaction with a binary companion. A better understanding of these stars is needed, with a particular focus on high-mass binaries being warranted in the age of gravitational wave astronomy. In this dissertation, I will extend the knowledge and understanding of Be stars through a series of three projects. First, I will present and describe the largest ever homogeneous, spectroscopic sample of Be stars to date. I will then focus on investigation of a rare class of Be stars found in binary systems with hot, low mass companions. The second project will present detailed characterization and modeling of HD~55606, a newly discovered member of this class. Finally, I will discuss the results of spectroscopic monitoring of seven newly discovered systems and establish or place limits on the orbital parameters of the binary components.