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Astrometry and Adaptive Optics Enables Tests of Star Formation in Extreme Environments

Ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics systems have overcome the blurring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere and now routinely provide diffraction-limited images at infrared wavelengths. This has led to a revolution in astrometry, and we can now measure stars’ relative positions with 150 micro-arcsecond precision, even in very crowded and embedded regions. I will present a number of scientific results and future experiments enabled by such high-precision astrometry. This includes tracing the origins of the young stars around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy and measuring differences in how stars form within massive young clusters in a range of environments. I will also discuss the current limitations, future technical advancements, and novel science cases for high-precision astrometry and adaptive optics systems.

Cody Hall

Jessica Lu (U of Hawaii)

February 13, 2013
14:00 - 15:00