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Laurent Loinard (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

The Distribution of Star-forming Regions in the Milky Way -- Laurent Loinard Colloquium

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Mon 21 May 2012

Marsfield Lecture Theatre


: In the last few years, it has become possible to measure the distance and the velocity vector of young stars located within 500 pc of the Sun with an accuracy of order 1% using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) techniques. This represents an improvement by more than 1 order of magnitude over what was previously possible, and opens the door to some extremely high accuracy astrophysics. In particular, theoretical pre-main sequence stellar evolutionary models can now be confronted with very accurate observational constraints. The space distribution, and the internal structure and kinematics of star-forming regions, can also be investigated in unprecedented detail. This has important consequences both for star formation and for Galactic structure studies. In this talk, I will review these recent results, and explore their consequences. I will also present future perspectives and, in particular, describe two very large VLBI projects currently underway that promise to change our understanding of Galactic star formation.

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