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The Evolution of Massive Stars: Closing the Loop in the Local Group

Physics/Astro Auditorium

Philip Massey (Lowell Observatory)

April 18 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

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The evolution of massive stars is heavily influenced by the amount of mass they lose, both as OB stars in the main-sequence, as well as later in their lives.  This mass loss can happen either by stellar winds, or by Roche-lobe overflow in close binary systems. One of the great uncertainties in understanding massive star evolution is knowing which mechanism dominates.   I will describe a number of recent observational tests we have been carrying out addressing this question (along with others) using observations of massive stars in the star-forming galaxies of the Local Group as our laboratories.