In the universe many astrophysical objects are showing interesting geometrical and kinematical structures, where several physical phenomena can be studied through these systems. The stars constitute a 0.5% of the universe’s components and correspond to the visible matter. Within this small percentage, more than 30% have masses >= 8 solar masses and are called massive stars. These massive stars are hot (>10000K) and are capable to ignite nuclear elements in a short astronomical time, they are constantly losing mass (~10E-08 Msun/yr) through their strong stellar winds making their evolution be faster in comparison with low mass stars. Massive stars have their final stage in a Supernova explosion, leaving a remnant of a Black Hole or a Neutron star, depending on the initial mass. The study of massive stars will help us to understand their evolution and their chemical and dynamical contribution to the circumstellar medium and the hosted galaxy.
The Massive Stars Group at Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile, is conformed by three academics (one external), one postdoctoral, one postgraduate student and three undergraduate students. Our investigations is based on theory and observation of massive stars, in particular OBA supergiants and Be stars. Our research group covers the following topics: stellar winds (hydrodynamics), line variability (spectroscopic observations, line profile analysis), radiative transport (stellar model atmospheres, mass-loss rates and density profiles, stellar and disk parameters) and astrostatistic (numerical methods, numerical optimization). We maintain strong collaboration with a wider massive-star community spread around the world (UNLP, Argentina; USP, Brazil; ASU, Czech Republic; UNIANDES, Colombia; UWO, Canada), and in particular, we are involved in scientific personal investigation projects funded by CONICYT/ANID Chile and in the international project “Physics of Extreme Massive Stars” (POEMS) funded by the European Union (http://stelweb.asu.cas.cz/~kraus/POEMS/POEMS.html).