An article featured on Princeton University’s news page describes the work of Guðmundur Stefánsson, the Henry Russell Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. He is part of a team of researchers reporting observations on the mysterious Blue Ring Nebula, an unusual object composed of a ring of hydrogen with a star living at its center. Using ground-based spectroscopic observations and stellar evolution models, the team studied properties of the nebula enabling them to have direct observation of a suggested stellar merger occurring thousands of years ago. This appears to be the first time that scientists were able to have an unobstructed view of the early stages of a star system merger and its central stellar remnant.
Guðmundur Stefánsson is an astrophysicist whose research focuses on developing and using next-generation instruments to better detect and characterize planets orbiting nearby stars, with a particular focus on planets orbiting low-mass stars. His most recent work is published in the online journal Nature.
The Princeton University news article can be read here.