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  Research No. 2


Enhancing resolution dramatically for the object model emitted from the stars


Research of Dying Stars

  The sun seems to be looking the same every day, but in fact it is definitely aging at this moment. Then, the sun will be eventually ceased in the far future. But don't you worry, I am talking about billions of years away from now. I happen to be very impatient guy, wanting to know right now, how the sun will die in billions of years. What should I do then?

  The sun, very special star for the humanbeings, is just an ordinary one when considering the entire universe. If the sun-like stars exist in great numbers now, we can expect many stars like the sun existed in billions of years ago unless anything awkward occurred back then. In other words, we can assume that there are many stars, born billions of years before the sun, still exist but they are at their dying stage. By searching such dying stars and investigating how ther are I maybe able to come up with the sun in billions of years from now.

  Dying stars are very faint at visible lights that human eyes can see, but very bright in infrared light. By using special equipment that can detect infrared light, we can easily find dying stars. In December 2000, I started a survey obseravation toward the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds using a near-infrared telescope at Sutherland, South African Astronomical Observatory. I was a graduate student at that time. For the past 10 years, my colleague and I keep observing the two galaxies to see the light variation phenomena of dying stars. This survey is the world's first and the only one that provides near-infrared time series data with such a long baseline and of such a large scale.

  Many scientists from all over the werld showed theire interests to the uniquie data, offering me to work together. I choose to work with Dr. Margaret Meixnew of STScI through the Brain Circulation Program. She is leading a big project to observe Large and Small Magellanic Clouds with Spitzer Space Telescope. By combining her data and my data, we can expect to pin down various quistioins, such as connection between mass ejection, takes place right before the star dies, and pulsation. It is also very encouraging to have theoretical support from Prof. HideyukiSaio(Tohoku University) and his Graduate Student Mr. Masaki Takayama to explain and understand our observational outcomes.

  Expressionig my appreciation deeply to the Brain Circulation Program for providing me an opportunity to work in such prosperous research environment and being able to earn valuable inspirations from prominent researchers here, I hope to lead us to conclude many unsolved questions.

Tohoku University Astronomical Institute
Assistant Prof,     Yoshifusa Ita


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