CORDIS - EU research results

The young stellar population in the solar neighbourhood


The aim of the project is to determine the physical and statistical characteristics of the young stellar population of the Solar Neighbourhood in terms of magnetic activity, and the total number of young stars in our vicinity.

Ultimately, the results will establish the base for a complete study of the conditions necessary for the evolution of planetary atmospheres and the development of life. In recent years, a series of young stellar kinematic groups (clusters, associations and moving groups) of cool stars with similar space motion and with ages ranging from 8 million years to 50 million years, has been discovered in the Solar neighbourhood.

These associations of very young stars are excellent laboratories for investigations of forming planetary systems, and for the study of the influence of stellar high energy radiation on the planetary atmospheres, since young cool stars are high X-ray emitters.

However, a statistical approach is needed for having a complete view of the problem: the knowledge of the total number of young (active) stars and their physical properties is needed to understand the process of formation of planets and their evolution, in a wide range of scenarios.

The scientific output of this project will have an impact on a wide context: on the studies of the stellar formation history in the Solar Neighbourhood, of forming planetary systems, of the conditions and evolution of exo-planets, and of the effects of high energy radiation on the evolution of their atmospheres and the development of life.

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