Doris ArzoumanianResearch in Astrophysics

I am a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and member of the Division Of Science (DoS).
I am also a faculty member at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI).

Research Field

Physics of the interstellar medium
Formation and evolution of filamentary molecular clouds
Early stages of star formation.

Summary of Research

Understanding how stars form is central to astrophysics. Low mass stars, like our Sun, may host planets where life could emerge, and the most massive stars govern the physics and the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium of galaxies. Molecular filaments have been recently identified as the main sites of star formation. My main research is thus to derive a consistent scenario for the formation of these filaments and study their fragmentation into star forming dense cores. For that, I use various observational tracers of dust and gas, in total and polarized emission, to investigate the role of the main physical processes (turbulence, gravity, magnetic field) at play in the interstellar medium. The observational data that I use are obtained with space and ground-based facilities such as the Herschel, Planck, APEX, IRAM-30m, Nobeyama-45m, ALMA, and JCMT telescopes. In parallel, I work with theorists to confront observational results with numerical simulations and theoretical models.

The IC 5146 star forming region as seen by the Herschel space observatory (APOD)

Color composite Herschel image of the IC5146 Galactic molecular cloud. The color coding is such that red comes from SPIRE 500 μm and 350 μm, green from SPIRE 250 μm and PACS 160 μm, and blue from PACS 70 μm. IC5146 is a star-forming region in the Cygnus molecular cloud located at a distance of 460 pc from the Sun. IC 5146 consists of the Cocoon Nebula, an HII region illuminated by the B0 V star BD + 463474, and a whole network of dense and cold molecular filaments revealed by Herschel where new stars are forming (Arzoumanian et al. 2011).