Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers Discover 168 New Stars Near The Orion Region; Finding Could Help Pinpoint Time Of Planet Formations

Date:
January 5, 2001
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A team of astronomers from Yale, Venezuela and the Smithsonian Institution have identified 168 young stars, about half the mass of the sun, in a region called the Orion star forming complex, which is 1,400 light years from Earth.

A team of astronomers from Yale, Venezuela and the Smithsonian Institution have identified 168 young stars, about half the mass of the sun, in a region called the Orion star forming complex, which is 1,400 light years from Earth.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Cιsar Briceno, who started the study as a research scientist in Yale’s physics department in 1998 and is now a staff astronomer at the Centro De Investigaciones de Astronomia in Venezuela. "This is ongoing work. The 168 stars were found in the very first strip of sky we observed; the entire survey area is about six times that size, so we expect to find a few thousand stars before our study is done."

Published in today’s issue of Science, the results of the study, Briceno said, offer important constraints for theories on how fast planetary systems can form. "The stars we found are all between one and 10 million years old. Our study shows evidence that the gaseous, dusty disks surrounding the youngest stars have largely disappeared in their 10 million-year-old siblings, possibly because the dust in the disk has coagulated into larger bodies like planets. These preliminary results suggest that solar-like stars can form planets in about 10 million years; a lot faster than previously thought."

The stars were identified using a large CCD Mosaic digital camera developed jointly between Yale and Venezuelan institutions. It is installed on a powerful wide-field telescope at the Venezuela National Observatory, located at an elevation of 12,000 feet. This unique combination allows researchers to cover very large areas of the sky in a very efficient way.

"This is the first time young stars have been discovered using this innovative technique," said Briceno. "We took pictures of the same area of sky over and over again to identify the young stars."

Using software specially developed by Yale astronomy graduate student Katharine Vivas, the team picked candidates among stars that would vary in brightness over days and weeks. Young stars were then confirmed by follow-up observations conducted at the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale National Optical Astronomical Observatories (WIYN) telescope and the 60-inch telescope at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Arizona.

While research efforts have focused on targeting the youngest stars, Briceno said that identifying older stars is crucial in determining the time scales for the coagulation of dust grains into larger bodies such as planets. These older stellar populations are difficult to find because they are widely spread over the sky, and their molecular clouds have been dispersed and so no longer serve as markers for their positions.

Other researchers on the study included Jeffrey Snyder and Peter Andrews of Yale’s physics and astronomy departments; Nuria Calvet of the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia in Venezuela and the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Lee Hartmann, and Perry Berlind of the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Ricardo Pacheco of the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia and the Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela; and David Herrera, Lysett Romero and Gerardo Sanchez of the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia.

This study is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the NASA Origins of Solar Systems Program, and with support from the Venezuelan Ministry of Science and Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Astronomers Discover 168 New Stars Near The Orion Region; Finding Could Help Pinpoint Time Of Planet Formations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010105080016.htm>.
Yale University. (2001, January 5). Astronomers Discover 168 New Stars Near The Orion Region; Finding Could Help Pinpoint Time Of Planet Formations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010105080016.htm
Yale University. "Astronomers Discover 168 New Stars Near The Orion Region; Finding Could Help Pinpoint Time Of Planet Formations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010105080016.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — After more than two years, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover reached Mount Sharp, its long-term destination. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Elon Musk has been talking about his goal of colonizing Mars for years now, but how much of it does he actually have figured out, and is it possible? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins