Tomography of Galactic star-forming regions and spiral arms with the Square Kilometer Array

Laurent Loinard, Mark Thompson, Melvin Hoare, Huib Jan van Langevelde, Simon Ellingsen, Andreas Brunthaler, Jan Forbrich, Kazi L. J. Rygl, Luis F. Rodriguez, Amy J. Mioduszewski, Rosa M. Torres-Lopez, Sergio A. Dzib, Gisela N. Ortiz-Leon, Tyler L. Bourke, James A. Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) at radio wavelengths can provide astrometry accurate to 10 micro-arcseconds or better (i.e. better than the target GAIA accuracy) without being limited by dust obscuration. This means that unlike GAIA, VLBI can be applied to star-forming regions independently of their internal and line-of-sight extinction. Low-mass young stellar objects (particularly T Tauri stars) are often non-thermal compact radio emitters, ideal for astrometric VLBI radio continuum experiments. Existing observations for nearby regions (e.g. Taurus, Ophiuchus, or Orion) demonstrate that VLBI astrometry of such active T Tauri stars enables the reconstruction of both the regions' 3D structure (through parallax measurements) and their internal kinematics (through proper motions, combined with radial velocities). The extraordinary sensitivity of the SKA telescope will enable similar "tomographic mappings" to be extended to regions located several kpc from Earth, in particular to nearby spiral arm segments. This will have important implications for Galactic science, galactic dynamics and spiral structure theories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array
PublisherProceedings of Science (PoS)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2014
EventAdvancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array - Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy
Duration: 9 Jun 201413 Jun 2014


ConferenceAdvancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array
Abbreviated titleAA SKA14


  • astro-ph.SR
  • astro-ph.GA


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