Stellar Astrophysics

The research group of Stefan Kimeswenger is interested in the investigation of the late stages of the stellar evolution of normal stars (0.8 to 8.0 solar masses). These develop in their final stages an AGB giant star and finally a planetary nebula (PN). In these phases crucial nuclear reactions take place, which produce a large fraction of the elements of the CNO group (carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen) - thus the foundations of our life on earth. The group uses observations on the ESO telescopes in optical (320 nm to 1 μm) and infrared (1 to 14 μm) wavelengths, emissions of molecules in microwaves (200 to 500 MHz) as well as computer models (eg: CLOUDY) to investigate these objects.
In addition, individual extraordinary objects in explosive variability such as bright novae, red transients like V838 Mon (the 2nd outburst was discovered here in Innsbruck at the 60cm telescope), and VLTPs (Very Late Thermal Pulse) white dwarfs igniting the rare i-process nuclear fusion, are examined.

However, we are also engaged in the development of programs to improve observational data, which were affected by the earth's atmosphere. As radiation from space objects passes through the atmosphere, it is altered by various interactions. Originally developed as a contracted work in the in-kind for the Austrian ESO accession in 2009, further developments for new ESO instruments are promoted but also applied for many studies of changes in the Earth's atmosphere.

A new project is the installation of a high-resolution Echelle spectrograph at a 1.5 m Telescope in Chile. This is a project with Warsaw and ESO  - the OCA Observatory.

IC5148 low res
Investigation of the PN IC5148
(see Barría et al. 2018)


Stefan Kimeswenger

Head of the Research Group
Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Kimeswenger
Tel. +43 512 507-52040

Publications - SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)


More affiliation:
profesor titular extraordinario
Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN), Chile

Administrative Assistant
Amela Music
Tel. +43 512 507-52011

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