1002 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
My group studies the cutest stars - big and cuddly protostars only 10,000 to 100,000 years old, before they turn punky and begin to fuse hydrogen into helium in their core in about 1 million years. These stars are surrounded by envelopes of dust and gas that give us direct evidence of how stars form and how early planetary systems are going to form. Lately, we have been most excited about 1) how circumstellar disks evolve from the earliest stages and what impact the disk has on the evolution of planets via dust grain growth, and 2) the polarization of light from the circumstellar disk which arises from three mechanisms, aligned dust grains via magnetic field, aligned dust grains from radiation, and/or scattering.
The sources we study are usually deeply embedded in gas and dust, which means that they can only be observed at wavelengths longer than 10 microns. Thus, our group typically utilizes ALMA, SOFIA, and VLA observations to peer into stellar nurseries.
However, lately I am also considering variability of sources in LSST.
Current Graduate Students:
Past Graduate Students:
Shiya Wang (2008)
Yu-Shao "Jerry" Shiao (2008)
Woojin Kwon (2009)
Jonathan Seale (2010)
Hsin-Fang Chiang (2011)
I-Jen "Katherine" Lee (2013)
Ian Stephens (2013)
Dominique Segura-Cox (2017)
Erin Cox (2018)
Daniel Lin, Z. Y., Li, Z. Y., Yang, H., Looney, L., Lee, C. F., Stephens, I., & Lai, S. P. (2021). Probing the temperature structure of optically thick discs using polarized emission of aligned grains. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 493(4), 4868-4883. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa542
Encalada, F. J., Looney, L. W., Tobin, J. J., Sadavoy, S. I., Segura-Cox, D., Cox, E., Li, Z. Y., & Novak, G. (2021). 870 μm Dust Continuum of the Youngest Protostars in Ophiuchus. Astrophysical Journal, 913(2), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abf4fd
Harrison, R. E., Looney, L. W., Stephens, I. W., Li, Z. Y., Teague, R., Crutcher, R. M., Yang, H., Cox, E. G., Fernández-López, M., & Shinnaga, H. (2021). ALMA CN Zeeman Observations of AS 209: Limits on Magnetic Field Strength and Magnetically Driven Accretion Rate. Astrophysical Journal, 908(2), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abd94e
Reynolds, N. K., Tobin, J. J., Sheehan, P., Sadavoy, S. I., Kratter, K. M., Li, Z. Y., Chandler, C. J., Segura-Cox, D., Looney, L. W., & Dunham, M. M. (2021). Kinematic analysis of a protostellar multiple system: M⊙asuring the protostar masses and assessing gravitational instability in the disks of L1448 IRS3B and L1448 IRS3A. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 907(1), [abcc02]. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/abcc02
Bigiel, F., de Looze, I., Krabbe, A., Cormier, D., Barnes, A. T., Fischer, C., Bolatto, A. D., Bryant, A., Colditz, S., Geis, N., Herrera-Camus, R., Iserlohe, C., Klein, R., Leroy, A. K., Linz, H., Looney, L. W., Madden, S. C., Poglitsch, A., Stutzki, J., & Vacca, W. D. (2020). SOFIA/FIFI-LS Full-disk [C II] Mapping and CO-dark Molecular Gas across the Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 6946. Astrophysical Journal, 903(1), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abb677