Welcome to the Homepage of the

Department of Astrophysics
University of Vienna

Türkenschanzstraße 17
A - 1180 Wien / Vienna
Österreich / Austria

Looking at our Sun's future

Stars like our Sun are producing energy by the fusion of Hydrogen in their interior. However, the Hydrogen is not lasting forever. In a few billion years our Sun will turn into a Red Giant star with severe impacts on planet Earth. Then it will start the final stages of its evolution. One of these stages is called the AGB phase. We are studying stars that are already in this phase. In this way we are taking a look into the future of our Sun.

Our Research

Observationally, we use photometry (individual observations or long-term monitoring) as well as spectoscopy (low- to highest-resolution) in different wavelengths (from the optical to IR and Radio) to study AGB stars (single stars and members of whole populations like globular clusters or extragalactic systems) and their properties.

On the theoretical side, we use radiation hydrodynamics to model the complexe atmospheres of AGB stars and radiative transfer codes to calculate synthetic spectra from the optical range to the IR.

For the identification of dust features in IR spectra of AGB stars, we use spectroscopic data that we derive from laboratory investigations of minerals and synthetic solids.

Schematic view of an AGB star - simple version (by J. Hron)