Marina Kounkel

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Marina Kounkel

Graduate Student

University of Michigan Department of Astronomy
1018 Dennison Building
500 Church Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Office Location(s): 406 West Hall
Phone: 734.615.6139
mkounkel@umich.edu

  • About

    BS, University of Toledo | Advisor: Lee Hartmann

    Measuring distance of Orion Molecular Clouds

    While distance is an important concept in astronomy, there are various difficulties associated with measuring it. Orion Molecular Clouds have been previously been estimated to be located ~400 parsecs (pc) from the Sun using parallax measurements of the stars in the Trapezium in the center of the Orion Nebula Cluster. However, this measurement is accurate only for the stars in the Trapezium. Since the Orion Molecular Clouds span a projected length of ~100 pc, it is reasonable to assume that the width along the line of sight is comparable, making the uncertainty in distance 20%. Using radio interferometry from Very Large Baseline Array, Marina Kounkel will measure parallax toward the young stars in Orion with accuracy to 2% in order to map the 3-D structure of and distance to the clouds.

    Related Interests

    Star formation, Orion Molecular Clouds, binarity.