Io Kleiser

  • Program Year: 4
  • Academic Institution: California Institute of Technology
  • Field of Study: Astrophysics
  • Academic Advisor: Sterl Phinney
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2015)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Astronomy and Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 2012

Summary of Research

Core-collapse supernovae are powerful explosions marking the end of a massive star's life. When they die, these stars leave behind remnant neutron stars or black holes and throw off ejected material at typically 10,000 km/s, which is illuminated for days to months by the decay of radioactive material created in the explosion or by energy from the explosion itself. The type and structure of the star that produced the supernova is often not obvious, but the evolution of the optical signature from the aftermath of the explosion can provide clues to its properties at the time of its death. In particular, the composition and structure of the star is heavily influenced by binary evolution (causing mass loss or mass gain and angular momentum transfer), mass loss from stellar winds, and late-stage activity from nuclear burning that may cause the star to expand or shed shells of material. To this end, we are systematically exploring mass loss and structural changes during massive stars' lives and how these different evolutionary paths affect what is observed when the stars explode. We will begin by using the 1D (spherically symmetric) open-source stellar evolution code MESA to evolve stars up to the ends of their lives with prescriptions for mass loss at different rates and for different durations, then explode these stars using a piston model. After evolving the ejected material out to the point at which it expands freely, we will use the radiation transport code SEDONA to propagate optical radiation through the ejecta and predict signatures from these supernovae. We will compare these predictions to the wealth of data from the Palomar Transient Factory, thereby ultimately linking observed supernovae to models of their progenitors, allowing us to use the deaths of these massive stars to gain insight into their lives.


Inflated helium stars as progenitors of rapidly fading supernovae,
Kleiser et al., in prep.

Spectra of Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory,
Quimby, R. M. et al., 2018, ApJ, 855, 2

Models of bright nickel-free supernovae from stripped massive stars with circumstellar shells,
Kleiser et al. 2018, MNRAS, 475, 3152

SN 2015U: a rapidly evolving and luminous Type Ibn supernova,
Shivvers, I. et al., 2016, MNRAS, 461, 3057

Rapidly Fading Supernovae from Massive Star Explosions,
Kleiser, I. & Kasen, D., 2014, MNRAS, 438, 318

Peculiar Type II Supernovae from Blue Supergiants,
Kleiser, I. et al., 2011, MNRAS, 415, 372.

Broad-Line Reverberation in the Kepler-Field Seyfert Galaxy Zw 229-015,
Barth, A. et al., 2011, ApJ, 732, 121.

PTF 10vgv: A Supernova Without a Detected Post-Breakout Plateau,
Corsi, A. et al, 2011, ApJL, 747, L5.

The Massive Progenitor of the Type II-Linear SN 2009kr,
Elias-Rosa, N. et al., 2010, ApJL, 714, L254.

PTF10fqs: A Luminous Red Nova in the Spiral Galaxy Messier 99,
Kasliwal, M. et al., 2010, ApJ, 730, 134.

Evidence for an FU Orionis-like Outburst from a Classical T Tauri Star,
Miller, A. et al., ApJ, 730, 80

GRB 090902B: Afterglow Observations and Implications,
Pandey, S. et al., 2010, ApJ, 714, 799

Five poster presentations + 32 astronomical circulars (not peer-reviewed)


Gilloon Fellowship, Caltech, 2012.

Student Opportunity Fund, UC Berkeley, 2011.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), UC Berkeley, 2011.

Daniel E. Wark Award, UC Berkeley Astronomy Department, 2010, 2011.