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Tuesday, September 11 2018

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Massive stars are a diverse group that show a wide range of interesting behaviors. "Classical Be stars" are among this group, and are remarkable for a number of reasons. They are pulsators and rotate extremely rapidly, to the point that centrifugal force nearly pulls them apart. Matter is occasionally launched from the surface in events called "outbursts." Most of this ejected material falls back onto the star, but a small fraction migrates outwards and forms a disk. These disks can be highly variable, appearing and disappearing on timescales from weeks to decades.