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Stellar Astrophysics: Formation and Early Evolution
PTDC/CTE-AST/65971/2006 & FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-007117

Principal Investigator
Jorge Filipe Gameiro


The project aims at studying the star formation process and early stellar evolution in the pre-main-sequence stage. This field has become in the last decade a fascinating topic in the astrophysical research due to the advent of large ground-based and space telescopes (operating from the radio to the X-rays bands) and technologies (large and sensitive arrays; adaptive optics and optical/mm interferometry). The star formation field is currently one of the main scientific drivers for new ground and space base facilities (e.g. ALMA, Spitzer, Herschell, JWST). The team has the critical mass and has established expertise in multi-wavelength observations and modeling which allows a strong participation in this fast evolving field.

The project is divided in 3 main components:
a) the early stage of star formation and the characterization of embedded clusters where star formation occurs;
b) the low and intermediate mass star in the pre-main-sequence phase and the star-disk interaction through magnetic field;
c) the interplay disk-jet-wind and the launching jets mechanisms.

The early stages of the star formation process are the outcome of a complex interplay, still poorly understood, between gravity, turbulence and magnetic forces in dense clouds. In this component we will focus on:
a) the universality of the Initial Mass Function – IMF;
b) the impact of the massive stars in the star formation process;
c) the evolutionary status of the Young Stellar Object activity through the X-ray emission.

The pre-main-sequence phase and the star-disk interaction will be studied using multi-wavelength spectroscopy, radiative transfer and stellar evolution modeling. In this item we will:
a) trace the stellar activity evolution along the pre-main-sequence phase;
b) determine the stellar magnetospheres properties;
c) study the interplay magnetosphere-disk, the inner disk region and the accretion shock onto the stellar surface.

By combining observational diagnostics and theory we will study the physics of winds and jets in the pre-main-sequence phase namely by:
a) using high angular resolution techniques to locate the region where the jet originates;
b) studying the chemistry of the disk winds to prepare future ALMA observations;
c) improving MHD winds and ~jets models to produce observational predictions.

Our team will also participate in the ESO approved phase A studies of second generation Very Large Telescope Interferometer spectro-imager instrument entitled VSI.

Finally, the team will participate in CAUP’s policy regarding public awareness of science and will contribute to the spread of scientific culture and of astrophysical ideas in the society.

1 October 2007
30 September 2010

Funda��o para a Ci�ncia e Tecnologia  COMPETE  QREN  União Europeia

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia