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Bulletin of the Eastbay Astronomical Society
Founded in 1924 at Chabot Observatory, Oakland, California
Volume 77, Number 6, February 2001


Front Page. 

President's message: Roberts Rules
Sky Lore
: Xolotl Xolotl
Editor's News and Views
Points of Light
AANC Update
EAS Annual Dinner
Schedule of Events


The Youngest Sun-like Stars:
An Infrared Perspective


Dr. Tom Green
NASA/Ames Research Scientist

Saturday, 3 February, 2001 
General Meeting 7:31 p.m. 
Lecture 8:20 p.m.
Astronomy Classroom, 2nd Level, Spees Building
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, California

We shouldn't take the Universe for granted - our planet and home star haven't always been here. The oldest stars in our galaxy are about 13 billion years old, while the Sun and the rest of the solar system formed only about 5 billion years ago. Since the Sun and planets formed much later than the earliest stars, could stars like the sun and planets like the Earth still be forming today? Observing them now can give us clues as to how our own solar system formed. Stars like the sun form in dusty clouds of gas that are opaque to visible light, so they have been difficult to observe with traditional photographic plates and CCD cameras. However, infrared detector array technology has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades, allowing unprecedented sensitive observations of young stars still forming in their dusty cocoons. When combined with modern star formation theories, infrared observations from spacecraft and ground-based telescopes have recently revealed unprecedented details about the physical properties of young stars and their pre-planet-forming circumstellar disks. In particular, infrared spectra are now yielding some of the most sought-after details of young stars and their evolutionary processes. I will describe this progression of knowledge, including sharing some of my recent observations with the Keck and other large telescopes.


Dr. Greene conducted his Ph.D. research under the direction of Erick Young at the University of Arizona. As a student he built a simple near-infrared camera and completed an IR imaging survey of the nearby r Ophiuchi star forming dark cloud. He was a postdoc in the Astrophysics branch of the NASA Ames Research center where he helped develop the HIFOGS mid-IR spectrometer for the KAO. After this postdoc, he joined the faculty of the University of Hawaii as a support astronomer for the 3.0 m NASA IRTF telescope and the project scientist for its Cryogenic Echelle Spectrograph (CSHELL). Greene went on to become the Deputy Division Chief and then the Division Chief (Director) of the IRTF before becoming a staff scientist at Lockheed Martin. Since then he has been the Chief of the Astrophysics Branch and an active researcher at Ames Research Center.
 


DINNER WITH THE SPEAKER
5:27 pm, Saturday, 3 February 2001
PEARL OF SIAM RESTAURANT
5498 College Avenue, Oakland (510) 420-8600
Please call Betty Neall at 510/533-2394 by Friday, 5 January to confirm your place. Note the time has been advanced to allow everyone to be able to get to the meeting promptly at 7:31 pm.



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