Dr. Richard Ignace is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the
Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at East Tennessee State
University. His research interests include the theoretical, from radiative transfer,
magnetic fields, to exoplanets, and the observational, including x-ray, ultraviolet,
infrared, and radio astronomy. In his role as Director of the Office of Undergraduate
Research & Creative Activities he oversees student-faculty collaborative grants, summer
fellowships, travel grants, and the annual Boland Undergraduate Research Symposium.
“Mapping the Environments of Massive Stars: A chapter in the story of the interrelated
Scientists are curious people. One of the things that most fascinates me is how we
know the things that we claim to know. Astronomical study is an excellent subject
in which to explore this fascination, since in the effort to understand the history
of the universe and its future trajectory, humans are limited to surveying the heavens
from only the Earth. Consequently, astronomers employ methods that involve multi-wavelength
and temporal approaches for piecing together the story of the cosmos. One aspect
of this is the disproportionate impact that massive stars have for cosmic evolution.
In particular, many outstanding questions regarding the impacts of mass-loss for this
chapter of cosmic history remain. I discuss recent efforts at discerning the environments
of mass stars - winds, shells, clumps, disks, and other structures - for resolving
these outstanding issues.