Dr Rachael Ainsworth is a Research Associate at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. She obtained a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Dublin, Trinity College, her BSc in Physics at the University of Tennessee in the US, and interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is an expert in the interpretation of radio emission from protostellar systems in nearby star forming regions, her research involves observing jets from young stars with next-generation radio telescopes to investigate the physical processes that assemble stars like our Sun. She is passionate about openness, transparency, reproducibility and inclusion in research and organises a women in data meetup group in Manchester called HER+Data MCR.
Talk: The Violent Birth of Stars like our Sun
Stars like our Sun begin their lives in breathtaking fashion. They begin deeply embedded within natal envelopes of gas and dust from which they accrete. They drive spectacular bipolar jets which are believed to be launched via magnetic fields, enabling accretion to proceed through the removal of excess angular momentum. These jets exhibit shocks of many irregular morphologies along their lengths and terminate in bright bow shocks. As the massive envelopes are depleted due to accretion onto the disks and dispersion caused by the outflows, the young stars begin to become optically visible and eventually evolve into solar systems similar to our own. I will present observations of these newborn systems from next generation radio telescopes, which peer through the dust of these stellar nurseries to learn more about violent jet processes, and what we hope to learn from the Square Kilometre Array - a global science and engineering project to build the world’s largest radio telescope.