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PHOENIX Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 29768
Financé au titre de: FP6-MOBILITY
Pays: Italy

Final Activity Report Summary - PHOENIX (Young Stellar Objects, their Surroundings and Jets: Advanced Observational and MHD Studies)

The project was a four-year Marie Curie Host fellowship program for the transfer of knowledge (ToK) on the physics of young stellar objects (YSOs), on the dynamics of accretion and outflow phenomena in young stars, and on their interaction with the circumstellar environment. The aims of the project included determining the physical conditions in protostellar environments, the characteristics of protostellar jets, and how the protostellar components (circumstellar environment, disk, jets, etc.) interact with each other through radiation and/or mechanical impact. The project required a wide range of competences: the research methodology has combined observations and data analysis with numerical magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) modelling of astrophysical plasmas. This resulted in a multi-disciplinary project using observational astrophysics, mathematical modelling and high performance computing. Support from researchers with experience in the physics of YSOs and protostellar jets from both the modelling and the observational point of view was necessary to develop the appropriate competences in the host institute (INAF/OAPa).

During the project, two experienced fellows were recruited, each for a period of two years, with expertise in the following research areas:
1. physics of YSOs with specific expertise on data analysis and emission processes in the optical and infrared bands;
2. MHD modelling of astrophysical plasmas describing the ambient medium surrounding YSOs.

The transfer of knowledge has been realised through periodic meetings, chaired by the scientific coordinator of the project, among the people (Marie Curie fellows, scientists, and local post-doc fellows of the host) involved in the scientific area of the project. The meetings were dedicated to discuss the relevant literature and to plan the local activities in the following main fields: protostellar jets, accretion phenomena in YSOs, effects of the coronal activity (e.g. large flares) of protostars on the stability of accretion disks. The transfer of knowledge has been enhanced through the participation of the people involved in PHOENIX to a series of schools on the research areas pertaining to the project and organised by two European Marie Curie Research Training Networks (RTN), namely JETSET and CONSTELLATION.

The major project achievements have been:
a) the acquired local know-how on the analysis of optical and infrared observations of YSOs and
b) the development of detailed and original hydrodynamic and MHD models describing the main protostellar components (jets propagating through the circumstellar medium, accretion streams impacting onto the stellar surface, global protostar-corona-disk systems) and implemented through available advanced and well-tested parallel numerical codes (FLASH and PLUTO).

The project was organised in 4 main tasks to investigate:
1. the origin of the X-ray emission recently detected in several protostellar jets and of the irregular knotty morphology of jets at all wavelength bands;
2. the dynamics and stability of accretion radiative shocks in Classical T Tauri stars, their contribution to X-ray emission, and how accretion can interact with the coronal activity;
3. the effects of intense coronal activity on the stability of the accretion disk and on accretion episodes triggered by large flares;
4. the magnetic fields in star-forming clouds.

The results of the project have been published in international refereed journals and presented at several international conferences/workshops that leaded to several publications in conference proceedings and talk/poster presentations. A catalogue of images and tables from the SCUPOL polarimeter, concerning star-forming regions and YSOs, has been realised and made available to the international community. In addition, a dedicated website has been developed, enabling visitors to learn more about the PHOENIX project.


Salvatore ORLANDO, (Researcher)
Tél.: +39-091-233-423
Fax: +39-091-233-444