After three decades, the veteran Hubble space telescope has a new mission: the Ultraviolet Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards, which will be like a spectral catalog that will trace, through ultraviolet profiles, stellar childhood.
More than 300 stars were included in the project – from the youngest and least massive of 10 hatchers in the Milky Way to mature stars scattered in nearby dwarf galaxies, such as the Magellanic Clouds.
“One of the main objectives of ULLYSES is to form a complete reference sample to be used to create, in the future, spectral libraries that capture the diversity of stars, guaranteeing a permanent data set for a wide range of astrophysical topics,” he said in a statement. from NASA, the program’s leader, astronomer Julia Roman-Duval, from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where the initiative came from.
According to her, “ULLYSES is expected to have a lasting impact on future research by astronomers around the world”. STScI, together with the announcement about the program, is launching the first set of observations cataloged by ULLYSES, with spectral data from hot, massive and blue stars of dwarf galaxies in the vicinity of the Milky Way.
Planets in formation
The terrestrial atmosphere filters most of the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the stars and, therefore, telescopes on Earth would never be able to carry out a task like ULLYSES. Hubble, in space, is the only one capable of registering the growth and maturity of young stars, which expel much of their energy in ultraviolet radiation.
Young suns can mean planets in formation. The ultraviolet irradiated by protostars separates molecules and penetrates the disks of gas and dust around them – the birthplace of planets.