Hubble launches largest ultraviolet survey of nearby stars

To better understand stars and their evolution, the Space Telescope Science Institute has launched an ambitious new initiative with the Hubble Space Telescope called ULLYSES (UV Library of Young Stars as Basic Standards). The complex program will build a dataset that can be used to create a spectral library of stellar “patterns” to study the diversity of stars. The new study is reported by the ESA/Hubble Information Center.

The stars are not created equal. They cover a wide range of sizes, ages and temperatures, from miniature red, cool, low-mass stars to huge blue, hot, massive stars. The sun is roughly halfway between these populations. Stars are the main building blocks of the Universe that make up huge galaxies. Therefore, astronomers are striving to better understand how they are born and die. The course of a star’s life is associated with all important processes in space – from the creation of planets to the formation and evolution of galaxies.

To better understand stars and stellar evolution, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, has launched an ambitious new project with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope called ULLYSES (Ultraviolet Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards). stars as basic standards).

Creation of a kind of UV-index of stars will allow organizing a large set of data. The Hubble’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light makes it the only observatory currently capable of studying stars at these wavelengths of light. Young low-mass stars and massive monster stars emit a lot of energy in UV light.

ULLYSES is the largest Hubble observing program in history. No program has been given that much time. More than 300 stars will be included in the review. Ultraviolet (UV) light from selected stars is used to create a library of spectral “templates” for young low-mass stars from eight star-forming regions in the Milky Way, as well as fully mature high-mass stars in nearby dwarf galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds.

“One of the key goals of ULLYSES is to provide a complete reference sample that can be used to create spectral libraries. ULLYSES will help astronomers around the world in future research, ”concludes Program Manager Julia Roman-Duval of STScI.

The Institute is currently providing the astronomical community with the first series of ULLYSES observations. The early targets of the project are hot massive blue stars in several nearby dwarf galaxies.

The goal of the program is to give astronomers a better understanding of the birth of stars and how it relates to everything from planets to the formation and evolution of galaxies. Astronomers want to know how young, low-mass stars affect the evolution and composition of the planets forming around them. Intense ultraviolet radiation breaks molecules apart and penetrates the circumstellar discs where planets form, affecting their chemical composition. This is directly related to the habitability of the planets.

STScI’s scientific and technical staff develops software to make the library widely available to the astronomical community.

The ULLYSES program creates a legacy for the future by creating a comprehensive database that astronomers will use for research in the coming decades.

Tags: ,