Welcome to the Star Formation division at the AIP!

Our research is dedicated to the study of the formation of stars and the evolution of the interstellar medium in our own galaxy, in other nearby galaxies, and also in the early universe. We are interested in the processes driving and influencing both the formation of stars (environment, metallicity, etc.) and the subsequent formation of planets around these stars. Therefore, we focus on the following fields:

Low-mass Star Formation

  • High spatial resolution multiplicity and circumstellar disk studies of young stars (T Tauri stars and Herbig Ae stars)
  • Studies of the initial stellar mass function in the Orion Trapezium cluster and the LMC starburst cluster R136 (30 Doradus; in collaboration with the Galaxies division of the AIP)
  • Search for very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the Solar neighbourhood and in young clusters/associations (in collaboration with the X-ray division and the LBT project of the AIP)
  • Search for giant planets around white dwarfs (in collaboration with the Stellar Physics division of the AIP)
The image shows the resolved nearest binary brown dwarf in the infrared (for more details see here).

High-mass Star Formation

  • Origin of massive stars in clusters and in the field (in collaboration with the RAVE project of the AIP)
  • Mass segregation in young clusters and dynamical interactions (ejections and runaway OB stars, stellar collisions and mergers, progenitors of gamma-ray bursters)
  • The origin of massive binaries and Trapezium-type systems
  • Sequential massive star formation, starbursts
The image shows the central star cluster R136 in the extragalactic giant HII region 30 Doradus in the LMC.

Interstellar Medium and Molecular Clouds

  • Numerical simulations of the ISM: from clouds to stars (in collaboration with the Supercomputing project of the AIP)
  • Numerical models of the formation of star clusters and OB associations
  • Modeling the effects of turbulence in the ISM (in collaboration with the MHD division of the AIP)
  • Star formation and the ISM in the early universe (in collaboration with the Cosmology division of the AIP)
The image shows the varying gas density in the ISM. It is taken from a simulation in which turbulence is driven by the magneto-rotational instability.

Research Networks

Our division is part of the EU Research Training Network Constellation on the origin of stellar masses.

The SF division was the coordinating node of the European Commission Research Training Network on The Formation and Evolution of Young Stellar Clusters (2001-2004).
Last modified: April 12th, 2007 by G. Meeus and the SF division.