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Tracing gas emission close to young stellar objects
Monday 13 October 2008

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Disc Around Young Star
Artist’s impression of the environment of a young star, showing the geometry of the dust disc in the outer area and the hot gas disc closer to the central star. Credit: L. Calçada (ESO PR Photo 35/08)

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing new high-resolution observations of the gas component surrounding six young stars with the AMBER/VLTI instrument (ESO, Chile). Astronomers were able to measure the spatial distribution of the hydrogen and CO gas emission in the inner disks around six Herbig Ae/Be stars. They found that the gas emission can clearly trace the infall of matter onto the star or the ejection of gas from the system.

The team led by S. Kraus from Bonn and E. Tatulli from Grenoble used the unique capability of AMBER at the VLT interferometer, carrying out spectroscopy at milli-arcsecond scale to probe the gaseous environment of Herbig Ae/Be stars. These are young stars of intermediate mass (approximately 2 to 10 solar masses), which are still contracting and often show strong line emissions.

More information:
- ESO 35/08 Science Release Astronomers get best view yet of infant stars at feeding time
- A&A press release Young stellar objects: the source of gas emission around Herbig Ae/Be stars
- communiqué de presse of the Observatoire de Grenoble: Zoom sur le disque de gaz autour des étoiles jeunes, foyer de naissance des planètes
- pressemitteilung of the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie: Winds of Baby Stars

Based on the articles published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2008, vol. 489-3, pp. 1151-1173:
- “Spatially resolving the hot CO around the young Be star 51 Ophiuchi”, by E. Tatulli et al.
- “The origin of hydrogen line emission for five Herbig Ae/Be stars spatially resolved by VLTI/AMBER spectro-interferometry”, by S. Kraus et al.

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