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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > Star Clusters & Nebulae > T-Associations

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T-Associations

T-Associations are groups or clusters of very young stars that are very near to our Sun. Along with the O-Associations, these are the nearest groups of celestial objects. T-Associations are loose groups of T Tauri and RW Aurigae stars at distances from about 100 to 1000 parsecs from the Sun. There are about forty of these associations known, most with few then thirty members, although there may be as many as four hundred. T Associations have received much attention in recent years from astronomers due to the fact that T Tauri stars are closely associated with strong clouds of interstellar dust and are often observed near or within these dark nebulae. Armenian astronomer V. A. Ambartsumian sees in these compact associations of variable stars a special class of stars, possible in the condensing stage -- young or very young stars. These T Tauri stars help to bridge the gap between protostars (newborn stars) and the younger stars. (T Tauri stars = age less than 107 The spherical shape of the T-Associations or clusters is an indication that these young stars will disband in a relatively short period of time. They are unstable.

The T Tauri stars exhibit erratic variations that may be, in part, extrinsic. They have luminosity comparable to our Sun, although their spectra are peculiar, with bright lines of hydrogen and the metals and continua of unusual energy distribution. These stars are strong emitters of infrared radiation.

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine


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