"Stellar Mortician" Explains Study of Dead and Dying Stars

Students and faculty enjoyed a lively presentation and discussion about stars, astronomy, and life led by astronomer and doctoral candidate Lindsay DeMarchi during an Evening of Science on Tuesday, October 26.  

Organized by Loomis Chaffee’s Physics and Astronomy Club, the event took place via Zoom videoconference.  

Describing herself as a “stellar mortician” who works to piece together a star’s life based on the information it leaves behind after collapsing, Ms. DeMarchi spoke about the nature of her research, saying she studies the moments just before a star dies, the instant that a star collapses and releases gravitational waves, and the electromagnetic processes that occur immediately afterward. She also explained the methods and instruments she uses to research dead and dying stars. In addition, she answered students’ questions and offered advice and encouragement to those thinking of a career in astrophysics or astronomy. 

Ms. DeMarchi earned her undergraduate degree in physics from Colgate University and her master’s degree in physics from Syracuse University. She is completing her doctorate in astronomy at Northwestern University. She is also a member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research, based out of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she works with the outreach program.  

Ms. DeMarchi’s virtual talk was organized by Lillie Szemraj, Physics and Astronomy Club president, and facilitated by Science Department Head Neil Chaudhary ‘05.