Assaf Sternberg's Homepage
Last update: 6 November 2015

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Contact information:
Assaf Sternberg
Visiting Researcher
Observatoire Astronomique de l'Université de Genève
Chemin des Maillettes 51
CH-1290, Versoix
Phone: +41 (0)22 379 2464
Fax : +41 (0)22 379 2205
Assaf Sternberg's homepage

This homepage is still under construction ...

I am currently a visiting researcher at the Geneva Observatory ( Observatoire de Sauverny, map), visiting Prof. Georges Meynet's Stellar Evolution Group.

My main research interest is the understanding of the progenitor system, or systems, of Type Ia Supernovae. Type Ia Supernovae are widely accepted to be the thermonuclear explosion of an accreting white dwarf star in a close binary system. In spite of numerous studies, the nature of the binary companion, i.e., the mass donor, still remains uncertain. The two mainly accepted models for Type Ia progenitors are the single-degenerate and double-degenerate models. In the first, the mass donor is a main sequence star (similar to our sun) or a giant star (a late phase of stellar evolution in which the star swells up). In the second, the companion is another white dwarf and the mass transfer is done via a merger between the two. An alternative model is the core-degenerate model, where the white dwarf merges with a core of an evolved star. One of the main discriminants between different models is the presence of material in the vicinity of the exploding white dwarf, i.e., circumstellar material. Therefore, the detection of circumstellar material can help disentangle between the different progenitor systems that might have led to the type Ia event. To read more about my research please go here.

My previous position was as a research fellow at the Technische Universität München as part of the Excellence Cluster Universe, located at the Garching-Forschungszentrum near Garching bei Münich, Germany. Prior to this position I held a Minerva Postdoctoral Fellow position at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, hosted by Prof. Wolfgang Hillebrandt, and a postdoctoral position (partialy as a Sir Charles Clore Fellow( at the Weizmann Institiute of Science, hosted by Dr. Avishay Gal-Yam. My first postdoc period was my introduction to the world of observations and led to the switch in my research interest from a theoretical, hydrodynamical simulation based, study of radio bubbles in galaxy cluster cores and accretion disks to my current observation based search for clues of the elusive progenitors of Type Ia supernovae.

I recieved my Ph.D. in May 2009 from the Physics departmentat at the Technion - Israel Insitute of Tecnology. The title of my Ph.D. dissertation was "Inflating Radio Bubbles in the Cores of Galaxy Clusters", supervised by Prof. Noam Soker.

I recieved my M.Sc. in July 2005 from the Physics departmentat at the Technion. The title of my M.Sc. thesis was "A Search for Hydrodynamical Instabilities in Accretion Disks", supervised by Prof. Oded Regev.

I recieved my B.A. in March 2003 from the Physics departmentat at the Technion.

My CV (including publication list) can be found here: Curriculum Vitae