The universe awaits
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Exoplanet Science

with the Giant Magellan Telescope
Rocky planets range at least from 1/10th to 10,000 times the mass of Earth

The physics of star formation is central to understanding the formation and life cycle of galaxies, stars, and planets.

About five new stars form each year in our Milky Way galaxy from diffuse gas between the existing stars. The gas is so diffuse and cold that it must be gravitationally compressed by 20 orders of magnitude to make a star, becoming a million times hotter and beginning nuclear fusion, the power source of stars. Stellar nurseries can give birth to stars over a vast range of masses, from more than 100 times the mass of our own Sun, to stars only a tenth of the mass of our Sun and as small as Jupiter. Star formation is integral to galaxy formation and evolution, and the great variety of planets now known condensed within disks of gas and dust surrounding protostars.

Star formation and the GMT

Credits: NASA, ESA, STScI, N. Habel and S. T. Megeath (University of Toledo)

High-resolution star formation imaging

With the GMT, it will be possible to study the collapse process of star formation down to the smallest scales. GMTIFS will achieve angular resolutions of 25 mas, comparable to the orbital radius of Jupiter.
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Protostellar assembly

GMT will be able to directly probe the innermost regions of protostars and their circumstellar disks by measuring the emission of UV continuum and hydrogen emission lines from gas accreting onto the central star.
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Properties of the youngest stars

GMT will detect direct near-infrared spectroscopic observations of large numbers of protostellar objects at very high spectral resolution (R~65,000 in JHK and R~85,000 in LM) which will significantly expand the existing sample of high resolution protostellar spectra.
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Measuring stellar masses

GMT will play a central role in measuring the most fundamental property of (sub)stellar objects: mass, and unlock entire samples of these objects.
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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)

Substellar objects

GMT will open fundamentally new observational windows into the complex physics of brown dwarfs, driven by the quantum leap in near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of faint objects.
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The GMT will provide new insights across all stages of the star formation process, starting from the large-scale structure and kinematics of collapsing molecular clouds, onward to the assembly of new stars at the center of individual protostellar cores, and ending with the sizes and ages of the newly-formed stars that will indicate the mass-dependence and time-evolution of star formation physics.

The GMT will transform our ability to study the least massive stars and even the faint, substellar objects that fail to sustain fusion and become stars. Near-infrared instruments on the GMT (namely GMTNIRS and GMTIFS) will be needed to push observations to the earliest stages of stellar evolution, where stars are more embedded and difficult to study, and to the very lowest masses.

Instruments that Enable Future Discoveries
GMTNIRS — Near-Infrared Spectrograph

is a high-resolution spectrograph that will make crucial and decisive measurements of the nature of Earth-sized planets. G-CLEF will make precision (10 cm/s) measurements of radial velocity that will revolutionize the study of Earth-like worlds through the determination of mass and density – a powerful diagnostic that will indicate composition from heavy, hard rock to airy ice worlds.

G-CLEF will be able to measure the spectral lines of molecular oxygen (O2) in exoplanet atmospheres because of its high spectral resolution at optical wavelengths.

Especificações técnicas
GMTIFS — Integral-Field Spectrograph

is a near-infrared imager and integral-field spectrograph, meaning that it will not only have the ability to take detailed images of the sky, but also obtain spectra from across a continuous region of the field of view.

GMTIFS will spatially resolve structures in the bipolar outflows from young stars and detect molecular emission from the surfaces of their circumstellar disks, making it a powerful tool in understanding star formation physics.

Especificações técnicas
GMTIFS science: the physics of star formation (Harvard CFA) Astro2020 Whitepapers
Stars & Stellar Evolution
The First Stars and the Origin of the Elements
Discovery Frontiers in Time-Domain Astrophysics: Multi-messenger Astronomy
Fundamental Stellar Physics Throughout the Galaxy