CMSE Faculty receives award from RCSA, "Nuclear Burps and Belches: Presupernova Eruptions in 3D"

  • Jan 19, 2016
  • News

Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE) Faculty, Sean Couch along with co-pi Nathan Smith (Arizona) were awarded a Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) award at "Scialog: Time Domain Astrophysics: Stars and Explosions" for their research on “Nuclear Burps and Belches: Presupernova Eruptions in 3D.” 

One of the remarkable and unexpected new insights gleaned from observations of supernovae (SN) in the last decade is that some massive stars (on the order of 10% of all core collapse SN) experience violent, eruptive mass-loss episodes shortly before core collapse. Since some stars evidently experience major dynamical and structural changes in the last year or so of their life, this pre-SN activity may be a critical missing ingredient in scientists understanding the physics of core collapse and the SN explosion itself.  Yet, the physical mechanism and energy source for these pre-SN eruptions is still uncertain. In this research Couch and Smith will test a variety of theories by employing recently developed techniques for simulating these massive stars in 3D and comparing these simulations directly to observational data of the ejecta masses and kinetic energies of real pre-SN eruptions.

More information about the award can be found here: