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Identifying Young, Nearby StarsYoung stars have certain characteristics, e.g., high atmospheric abundance of lithium and chromospheric activity, fast rotation, distinctive space motion and strong X-ray flux compared to that of older main sequence stars. We have selected a list of candidate young (<100Myr) and nearby (<60pc) stars based on their space motion and/or strong X-ray flux. To determine space motion of a star, one needs to know its coordinates (RA, DEC), proper motion, distance, and radial velocity. The Hipparcos and Tycho catalogues provide all this information except radial velocities. We anticipate eventually searching approx. 1000 nearby stars for signs of extreme youth. Future studies of the young stars so identified will help clarify the formation of planetary systems for times between 10 and 100 million years. Certainly, the final output of this study will be a very useful resource, especially for adaptive optics and space based searches for Jupiter-mass planets and dusty proto-planetary disks. We have begun spectroscopic observations in January, 2001 with the 2.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) in New South Wales, Australia. These spectra will be used to determine radial velocities and other youth indicators such as Li 6708A absorption strength and Hydrogen Balmer line intensity. Additional observations of southern hemisphere stars from SSO are scheduled in April and northern hemisphere observations will take place in May and July at the Lick Observatory of the University of California. AT SSO, to date, we have observed about 100 stars with a high resolution spectrometer (echelle) and about 50 stars with a medium spectral resolution spectrometer (the "DBS"). About 20% of these stars turn out to be young stars. Among these, two especially noteworthy stars appear to be the closest T-Tauri stars ever identified. Interestingly, these stars share the same space motions as that of a very famous star with a dusty circumstellar disk--beta Pictoris. This new finding better constrains the age of beta Pictoris to be approx. 10 Myr.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Webb, Rich
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Song, Inseok
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA United States)
Zuckerman, Ben
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA United States)
Bessell, Mike
(Australian National Univ. Australia)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: General Meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Insititute
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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