Tähtienvälinen aine ja tähtien synty

The research concentrates on the properties of the interstellar medium and the process of star formation, both in the Milky Way and other galaxies. 

The topics include:

  • Physical and chemical properties of interstellar molecular clouds and the initial conditions for star formation by means of radio spectroscopy
  • Properties and composition of interstellar dust grains by observing continuum emission and polarisation from dust
  • Measurement and modelling of the Extragalacic Background Light (EBL) in the optical and infrared
  • Numerical radiative transfer modelling of spectral lines and dust emission and scattering in interstellar clouds
  • Numerical magnetohydrodynamical modelling of the physical properties of the molecular clouds

The main instruments currently used are:

  • ESO (European Southern Observatory)
    • Large optical telescopes (VLT etc.) and radio telescopes (APEX, ALMA) located in Chile.
      • Finland is a member of ESO since 2004
      • ESO/ESA synergy important for Finnish Astronomy
      • Participation in ALMA and ESO/VLT infrared projects building on previous experience with SEST, ISO, ODIN 
      • See also ESO press releases:
  • Planck
    • Cosmology satellite with an important contribution to Galactic studies (see ESA press release New Planck images trace cold dust and reveal large-scale structure in the Milky Way)
    • Coordinator status in a Scientific Working Group and a Technical Working Group
    • Analysis of interstellar medium and the properties of the interstellar dust, polarisatio measurements as a tracer of Galactic magnetic fields.
      • See here for more information in Finnish
  • Herschel

Senior members

  • Jorma Harju, University researcher 
    • Physicum D312 
    • Interstellar chemistry, molecular lines, studies of pre-stellar cores
  • Mika Juvela, University lecturer 
    • Physicum D331a 
    • Modelling of interstellar medium, Herschel and Planck satellite projects
  • Kalevi Mattila, Professor (emeritus) 
    • Physicum A218
  • Veli-Matti Pelkonen, postdoctoral researcher (FINCA)
    • Planck studies of interstellar medium, infrared observations