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Stellar Dynamics & Stellar Populations

Globular Clusters, Galactic Nuclei, Stellar Collisions & Mergers, Interacting Binaries

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Stars are among the most numerous objects in the Cosmos, and are the primary objects that make the bulk of larger structures we observe. They are born together, and consequently evolve together, often interacting with a close companion over the course of their lives, or interacting dynamically with many other stars in the dense stellar environments in which they are found. These interactions have profound influence on the long term evolution of stars. In CIERA, we consider numerical and theoretical models of stellar interactions and use them to understand and explain observations of stars across the Milky Way, and in dense stellar systems.

Research at CIERA


The centers of galaxies are complex environments whose properties are a result of the interactions between the massive black holes that reside there, vast clouds of gas, and dense populations of stars and stellar remnants.

Professor Rasio’s group studies numerical models of dense stellar environments such as nuclear star clusters.

Professor Larson’s group studies the interactions of single stars with massive black holes, a prospective LISA gravitational wave source class known as an EMRI (“extreme mass ratio inspiral”).

Professor Zadeh is an observer who studies stellar populations and physical processes in the Milky Way nucleus using observations across the electromagnetic spectrum.



Core Faculty

Associate and Affiliate Faculty


Graduate Students