Statistical Star formation in Lupus
Thesis Supervisor: Bill Dent
Lupus is regarded as the southern hemisphere's equivalent to the classic northern star formation region Taurus-Auriga.
The Lupus molecular clouds contain hundreds of young stars covering many square degrees on the sky, having a wide range of spectral types and ages. This makes this region ideal for statistical studies of star formation, in some ways better than Taurus because of the wider range of stellar luminosities. Different regions of Lupus have substantially different ages, enabling us to compare the spatial and age distributions of stars with their characteristics such as spectral type, accretion rate and disk mass. We can also compare with characteristics of the adjacent parent molecular gas, such as the temperature, density, cloud turbulence and filamentary structure.
We really don't understand what determines the characteristics of an individual young star, and a statistical study such as this is critical to make progress.
The ALMA JAO, in collaboration with colleagues in Japan, have started a project to study the Lupus star-forming complex using telescopes in Chile and elsewhere at multiple wavelengths. We wish to hire a PhD student to be a key part of this project, exploiting both existing and future datasets.