Stars play a fundamental role in the chemical evolution of the Universe, as well as in the development of organic life. In this talk I will review how stars are born, what is that keeps them shining, and their ultimate fate when they die. In particular, I will discuss the explosive events associated with the death of the most massive stars in the Universe, as well as the compact objects that they leave behind, that is neutron stars and black holes. I will conclude with a summary of the observational evidence that has allowed us to identify these remnant objects in the Milky Way and in nearby galaxies.
Rosalba Perna is a theoretical astrophysicist whose main research interests are in compact objects, and especially magnetars, highly magnetized neutron stars. After a bachelor in Physics in Italy studying condensed matter, she came to the US for her PhD, and her interests shifted towards the Physics of the Universe. She has been at Stony Brook since January 2014, after being a faculty for almost 10 years at the University of Colorado at Boulder.