CHARA Array. Photo courtesy Eric Simison, Sea West Enterprises

Stellar Astronomy Research

 

Portraits of Stars:
altair     We use the CHARA array on Mt. Wilson, the world’s longest-baseline optical and near-infrared interferometer, to image stars light-years away. The incredible precision of CHARA allows us to:

  • detect and monitor binary stars (Baron, Gies, McAlister, White)
  • see disks surrounding young and old stars (Baron, Gies)
  • measure the sizes and temperatures of stars (Baron, Gies, Henry, McAlister, White)
  • see spots of the surface of stars and measure their rotation (Baron, McAlister, White)

 


 

 A Census of the Nearby Stars:
The REsearch Consortium On Nearby Stars (RECONS) is an international group of astronomers headquartered at GSU. The goals of the group include:

  • building a 3D map of all stars within 100 parsecs (300 light years) of the Sun (Henry, Lepine)
  • accurately measuring the distances of stars and their motions through space (Henry, Lepine)
ctio_09

 


 

History and Evolution of Stars and the Galaxy:
milkyway We investigate the properties and evolution of stars, both single and binaries, and track their motions to understand the history of our galaxy and the formation of stars and planetary systems. Our current goals are to:

  • establish a census of binary and multiple stars and determine their orbital properties (Gies, McAlister, White, Henry, Lepine)
  • study the fast lives of massive stars and test models of stellar evolution (Gies, McAlister, Henry, White)
  • map out stellar motions in the solar neighborhood and search for nearby young stars (Henry, Lepine, White)

 


 

Exoplanets
Surveys of nearby stars provide opportunities to develop targeted searches for extrasolar planets. Our activities include:

  •  identification of targets for exoplanet surveys (Lepine)
  • radial velocity search for planets orbiting young stars (White)
  • astrometric searches for planets orbiting nearby stars (Henry)
  M44_HotJupiter