AAS 197, January 2001
Session 64. Science with Adaptive Optics
Special Session Oral, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 1:30-3:00pm, San Diego

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[64.04] A New Look at Star Formation with Adaptive Optics at CFHT

F. Ménard (CFHT Corporation)

Young Stellar Objects are the builders of worlds. During its infancy, a star transforms ordinary interstellar dust particles into astronomical gold: planets! These planets may be host to life elsewhere in the universe. Needless to say the process is complex, and largely unknown to date. Yet, violent and spectacular events of mass ejection are witnessed, disks in keplerian rotation are detected, multiple stars dancing around each other are found. These are as many traces of the stellar and planet formation process. The high angular resolution provided by adaptive optics, and the related gain in sensitivity, have allowed major breakthrough discoveries to be made in each of these specific fields and our understanding of the various physical processes involved in the formation of a star has leaped forward tremendously over the last few years. In this contribution, meant as a report of the progress made recently in star formation due to adaptive optics, we will describe new results obtained at optical and near-infrared wavelengths at CFHT, in both imaging and spectroscopic modes. Our images of accretion disks and ionised stellar jets permit direct measurements of many physical parameters and shed light into the physics of the accretion and ejection processes. Although the accretion/ejection process so fundamental to star formation is usually studied around single objects, most of young stars form as part of multiple systems. We will also present some of our findings on how the fraction of stars in binary systems evolves with age. The implications of these results on the conditions under which these stars must have formed will be discussed.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www-laog.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/~menard/formation.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: menard@cfht.hawaii.edu

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