Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - CONSTELLATION (Constellation: The Origin of Stellar Masses.)

CONSTELLATION conducted a programme of cutting-edge astronomical research into the "origin of stellar masses". The research aimed at furthering our understanding of how stars are formed and, in particular, how stars come to have their final masses. The project involved a broad range of observational and theoretical projects divided into three major themes or Work Packages. Each WP was co-ordinated by two network scientists, generally one observer and one theoretician.

Work Package 1 focused on investigating how molecular clouds evolve into dense molecular cores which subsequently collapse to protostars. In particular, the focus was on how the initial conditions in molecular clouds and star formation processes are imprinted on the final distribution of stellar masses, the so-called `initial mass function'.

Work Package 2 examined the birth and influence of massive stars. The aim here was to study the formation mechanisms of massive stars, and assessing their impact on the surrounding environment.

Work Package 3 concentrated on the physics of the low-mass end of the initial mass function, in particular the measuring the abundances of brown dwarfs and studying their formation mechanisms. The work also involved studying their physical properties and their relationship to planets given that low-mass brown dwarfs and high-mass planets are very similar.

The research was conducted by scientists in 12 teams in seven countries across Europe. The network hired 22 young researchers during the 4-year project who were trained in the methods and techniques necessary to work on the project and become research astronomers. The network also ran 4 training schools and organised two international conferences. The training schools were primarily for the benefit of the young researchers, but some were also open to other participants. The conferences were open to international participants.

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United Kingdom
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