ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2022
July 1 - August 31

2022 Project Description

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Probing the onset of star formation with deuterated molecules
This project can be carried out remotely.

Radio observations
Star formation


Naomi Hirano
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

Stars like our Sun are born within the interstellar molecular clouds that are often called as "dark clouds". Dark clouds before the onset of star formation are not just "dark patches" if they are observed in the millimeter/submillimeter bands.

In the millimeter/submillimeter bands, we can observe various molecular lines that allow us to study the chemical and physical conditions of dark clouds before and after the onset of star formation. Especially, molecules including deuterium are considered to be powerful tools to probe the earliest stage of star formation. A simple ion, H2D+, is known to be the key of the formation of deuterated molecules.

This project uses the molecular line data of H2D+ and other deuterated species from two dark clouds in the Orion molecular cloud complex, one is before and the other is after the onset of star formation, observed with the Atacama Compact Array (ACA). The ACA data allow us to study the spatial distribution of the H2D+ line at high resolution. The goal of this project is studying how the distribution and abundance of H2D+ vary as a function of evolutionary stage.

The student will learn the basics of radio astronomy, interferometry, star formation, and astrochemistry.

Required Background

Basic knowledge of physics, It would be better if the applicants are familiar with UNIX or LINUX operating system.

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