Nordic-Baltic Research Training Course

Young Stars across Time and Wavelengths

Project Descriptions and Literature

Collaborators

Project 1: First Stages of Star Formation

The students will map the mass distribution of a dense molecular cloud and determine whether it contains any gravitationally bound, potentially pre-stellar cores. They will check for signs of protostellar activity and determine the evolutionary stages of the sources (if found). The project will be done using existing Herschel (FIR/submm), Spitzer (MIR/FIR), 2Mass, and/or molecular line data. The project will be complemented by real time observations with the NOT or the Onsala Space Observatory 20m telescope - either for new NIR imaging (NOT) to map the extinction in the region or molecular line observations (Onsala) to determine its kinematic distance and search for outflows.

Team

Literature

Optional background

Project 2: The Morphology of a Young Embedded Star

The students will reconstruct the morphology of an embedded protostar using existing multi-wavelength observations. The students will work on millimeter wavelength interferometric observations of the protostar to separate the different components of the protostar, its envelope, disk and outflow. The students will compare these observations to HST and Spitzer archival data for the same source - and explore simple radiative transfer models to understand the constraints on the system offered through imaging at different wavelengths.

Team

Literature

Project 3: Water in Disks From the IR to the Submillimeter

Water is one of the key molecules in the environments of young low-mass stars - and following its path through the different evolutionary stages of the star formation process is an interesting task, e.g., for understanding its origin in planetary systems. In this project the students will get acquainted with different techniques for spectroscopic observations of water in these regions - comparing spectroscopic infrared data from the VLT and Spitzer, Herschel Space Observatory and high angular resolution images at millimeter wavelengths. They will derive the quantities of water around a young star (or young stars) using these different types of observations and compare the results to understand the possibilities of the various methods - and their limitations.

Team

Literature

Project 4: Characterization of a Population of Young Stars in Cygnus

In this project, mosaic slitless spectroscopy of a star forming region in Cygnus will be obtained with the NOT using a grism to identify young Hα emission line stars. The same region will also be imaged in Hα and [SII] to look for outflow activity in the form of HH objects. Once the young stars have been identified the students will use 2MASS and Spitzer data to prepare energy distributions, which can be compared to radiative transfer models for such envelope/disk systems. This will give insight into a variety of observational data and techniques, and give some feeling for the possibilities and limitations of interpreting energy distributions. Finally, optical spectra will be obtained with the NOT for a few selected young stars to spectrally classify and characterize them.

Team

Literature

Project 5: Spectro-astrometry of Gas in Transition Disks: Planet Formation and Super-resolution Imaging

VLT-CRIRES high resolution infrared spectroscopy will be used to determine the location of warm gas in disks thought to be actively forming planets. The targeted disks have little or no emission from warm dust, yet emit strongly in lines from warm molecular gas orbiting at radii of ~1 AU. The question is how these disks have been altered to remove the dust, but not the gas, and whether this is related to the formation of a planetary system. In this project the students will explore the use of state-of-the-art infrared spectroscopy, assisted by adaptive optics systems, to provide observations at the highest possible spatial and spectral resolution of the inner regions of circumstellar disks where planets form. This type of observation is driving instrumentation for the next generation of telescopes, including the European ELT and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Team

Literature

Optional background