Stellar Astrophysics:
Simulations of Extreme Phases of Stars

Project Leader: Stefan Kimeswenger
Institute of Astro- and Particle Physics

  • Simulations of stellar environments in extreme stages of stellar evolution
  • Novae and eruptive variables in optical, infrared and radio wavelengths
  • Parallel hydrodynamic and radiative transfer simulations (incl. statistically fluctuating dust grains)
  • Real-time processing and pipelines in data reduction
  • Statistics and Monte Carlo simulations of radiative processes

Group and Research Overview

  • Modelling of the sky from 0.3 to 25 µm (ESO in-kind project): Dr. Wolfgang Kausch, Dr. Stefan Noll
  • Aerosol Light Scattering and Influence on Astronomical Observations: Amy M. Jones, MSc (PhD thesis project)
  • Science with small Telescopes: Mag. Cornelia Lederle
  • Photoionization of Planetary Nebulae and their Haloes: Silvia Öttl, MSc (MSc thesis project)
  • Diagnostic Diagrams of Nebulae: Bastian Proxauf (BSc thesis project)
  • Astrochemistry: Silvia Öttl, MSc (PhD thesis project)
  • Turbulence in Planetary Nebulae: Lars Hunger, MSc (PhD thesis project)
  • Radiative Hydrodynamic evolution of Planetary Nebulae: Felix Niederwanger, BSc (MSc thesis project)


Stellar Astrophysics:
Self-Consistent Simulations of Winds and Explosions in Late Stages of Stars


“Born again” planetary nebulae (dying stars undergoing due to remnant Helium shell burning the late giant stellar phase for a second time – but much faster) change their spatial dimensions by orders of magnitudes within a few integration time steps.

Assumptions (e.g. atoms in ground level) in solving the wind equations do not hold, because of to phase transitions (ionization, building and dissipating molecules, unusual chemistry, …)

We observe a strongly non-spherical ejection after a phase of nearly perfect spherical evolution of the earlier nebula abundance driven asymmetry – a unique lab ?

Link to my dedicated page --> LINK


Abell 30



HRD of a "born again" central star

mean atomic weight of carbon rich gas


Stellar Astrophysics:
Simulation of Circum-Stellar Discs Around Young Very Massive Stars

Massive star formation: Further growth due to slow disc accretion. Up to now such discs are only described "standalone" - But the environment of star forming regions is violent.

This Project will be prosponed to second round of the project in 2012/13 as there is at the moment no auxiliary funding for a thrid student.


Massive star formation in M17

3D Hydro Simulation of stellar wind