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Elaine Winston

Postdoctoral Reseracher in the School of Physics at the University of Exeter.

Latest Research

My research is on Star Formation in the Nearby Galaxy, using Spitzer, Chandra and other ground based telescope facilities.

Most stars form in clustered environments, embedded in clouds of gas and dust that collapse under gravity to form protostars with envelopes and disks of circumstellar material from which exoplanets may form. The surrounding dust obscures the Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) in visible light, so these young clusters are observed at IR and X-ray wavelengths. YSOs are classified on the amount of circumstellar material they possess: from Class 0, I, and Flat Spectrum protostars with gas and dust envelopes, to Class II YSOs with optically thick inner disks. Transition Disks have inner disk holes that may be due to clearing by orbiting exoplanets. Class III pre-main sequence stars have cleared their disks, possibly processing the dust into the rocky material from which planets form.

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