Research Fellows Directory
Dr Morgan Fraser
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
Stars that are born with a mass greater than about eight times the mass of the Sun will explode at the end of their lives as core-collapse supernovae. These spectacular explosions are where most heavy elements are formed, and so play a critical role in the Universe. However, much about core-collapse supernovae remains uncertain. My research is aimed at understanding which types of star give rise to which types of supernovae, and whether some stars can actually collapse directly to form a black hole without an explosion. Along with this, I want to explain the physical mechanism that leads some massive stars to experience outbursts and eruptions just before they explode. To do this, I use telescopes at observatories around the world to monitor massive stars and supernovae, and compare to computer simulations. Ultimately, this work will lead us to a better understanding of the final stages in the lives of massive stars, and how galaxies such as our own Milky Way came to be enriched with heavy elements.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)