The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, has launched a new project called ULYSES using the Hubble Space Telescope to create a library of ultraviolet spectral samples of young stars as a basic standard. ULLYSES is the largest observation program ever made using the Hubble telescope, in terms of the time it takes. More than 300 stars will be included in the observation plan.
Ultraviolet light from stars will be used to create a spectral “template” library of young, low-mass stars in eight star-forming regions scattered throughout the Milky Way. The survey will also include several mature, high-quality stars in nearby dwarf galaxies, including the Magellanic Nebula. Pictured are archived stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, circled in yellow and blue in observed stars.
One of the main objectives of the ULLYSES observation program is to form a complete reference sample to create a spectral library that captures the diversity of stars. The researchers hope to create a heritage dataset for a wide range of astrophysical topics. The team behind ULLYSES believes the project will have a lasting impact on future research by astronomers around the world. STScl has released the first set of ULLYSES observations, with early targets including hot, large-mass, blue stars located in several nearby dwarf galaxies.
One of the main goals of the program is to better understand how stars are born and how they are related to planetary formation and galaxy evolution. Astronomers aim to determine how young low-mass stars affect the evolution and composition of the planets around them. Researchers say intense ultraviolet radiation can tear molecules apart and penetrate planetary rings.
This ultraviolet radiation can affect the chemical composition of planets and directly affect the survival time of the ring disk. It also has a direct impact on the livability, atmospheric escape and chemical composition of planets. The goal is to target large-mass stars in nearby galaxies, where heavy elements have little abundance, similar to the original composition of early galaxies. The design and objectives of the observations were chosen with the help of the astronomical community.