Stars In Motion: Impact in Star Formation, Compact Objects, and Galactic Centers

Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Jessica Lu (Hawaii)

High-precision infrared astrometry has enabled unique experiments in many fields of astronomy, especially the study of the disk and center of our Galaxy. I will present results from our astrometric experiments to (1) test theories of star formation and the universality of the initial mass function, (2) search for free-floating stellar mass black holes using astrometric microlensing, and (3) study the dynamics and origin of young stars around the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center. I will also discuss adaptive optics (AO) development efforts that improve astrometric precisions and expand AO to larger fields of view needed for sparse field astrometry.