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

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 10:18 authored by Loinard, L, Thompson, M, Hoare, M, Jan van Langevelde, H, Simon EllingsenSimon Ellingsen, Brunthaler, A, Forbrich, J, Rygl, KLJ, Rodriguez, LF, Mioduszewski, AJ, Torres-Lopez, RM, Dzib, SA, Ortiz-Leon, GN, Bourke, TL, Green, JA
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.


Publication title

Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array


TL Bourke, R Braun, R Fender et al






School of Natural Sciences


Dolman Scott Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Event title

Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array

Event Venue

Giardini Naxos, Italy

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 the Author Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences

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    University Of Tasmania