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“I search for burned out stars.”

Dr Adela Kawka’s main area of research is stellar evolution, in particular white dwarf stars. She searches for burned out stars in sky surveys and uses information like size, mass, and composition to reconstruct the history of their entire life cycle.

“White dwarf stars are the final stages of evolution for the majority of stars. Our own Sun will eventually end its life as a white dwarf.”
Dr Kawka has been conducting spectroscopic surveys since her PhD research, and has discovered many new white dwarfs, including white dwarfs with properties that have never been seen before.

“Observing new stars means that I often come across new phenomena that can challenge our current theories of stellar evolution.”

Travel is part of being an astronomer, and Dr Kawka has used telescopes to observe the stars from Australia, Chile, USA, Bulgaria, and more. She has conducted many of her observations with the 8m telescopes of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. Her role at that observatory was not only as an astronomer, but as an advisor as well.

“I was always interested in understanding how things work.”

Read more about Adela Kawka