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Monthly Meeting August – The Most Luminous Supernovae: It Takes Two To Tango

August 9 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Guest Speaker :

Dr. Heloise F. Stevance,  MPhys, AFHEA, PhD
Research Fellow in Astrophysics


When massive stars reach the end of their lives they undergo a supernovae explosion powered by the collapse of their core. In the past decade and a half, a small subset of these events have been found to be brighter and more powerful: They are called super luminous supernovae. Work is ongoing to understand the power source of these extreme transients and in particular here I focus on SN 2017gci which showed evidence for a central magnetar and potential shells of hydrogen around the progenitor system. State of the art binary models were used to search for star systems that could evolve to re-create this explosion.

Dr. Heloise F. Stevance

Originally born and raised in France, I moved to the UK to study Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield. After working as a support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Group in La Palma for a year, I obtained my Masters of Physics in 2015. I subsequently started a PhD studying the 3D shape of Core Collapse Supernovae, and earned my title in Spring 2019. In July of that year, I joined the University of Auckland as a Research Fellow to research the evolution of massive stars to better understand how they die and produce Supernovae and Kilonovae.

I also started my public outreach work during my doctorate studies, in early 2016, and I have not stopped since.


August 9
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Stardome Observatory
670 Manukau Rd, Epsom
Auckland, 1345 New Zealand


Bill Thomas