The New Era of Stellar Physics
Stellar astrophysics is undergoing a renaissance driven by new observational and theoretical capabilities.
Wide-field time-domain surveys have uncovered new classes of stellar explosions, helping to understand how stars evolve and end their lives. Gravitational-wave astronomy is providing exciting insights in the properties of the final remnants of massive stars. Asteroseismology, the study of waves in stars, is also producing dramatic breakthroughs in stellar structure and evolution. Thanks to space astrometry, accurate distances are now available for an unprecedented number of galactic stars.
From the theoretical standpoint, it is increasingly possible to study aspects of the three-dimensional structure of stars using targeted numerical simulations. These studies can then be used to develop more accurate models of these physics in one-dimensional stellar evolution codes.
I will review some of the most important results in stellar physics of the last few years, stressing what are the most relevant puzzles that still need to be solved. I will put particular emphasis on the physics of massive stars, which are the progenitors of core-collapse supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and the massive compact remnants observed by LIGO.