The Infrared Astrophysics Group is actively involved in research relating to both Vega type pre-main sequence stars and the younger, more massive, Herbig Ae/Be stars. Both types are being studied in the mid-infrared using the UF mid-IR camera/spectrometer OSCIR. At mid-infrared wavelengths most of the emission is from dust grains in the circumstellar environments.

Elisha Polomski's research is revealing the detailed structure of the circumstellar environments of the Herbig Ae/Be stars. These stars are about 2-10 times the mass of our sun and associated with large infrared excesses. Many researchers have fit models to the infrared excesses of these stars which imply that it originates in dusty circumstellar disks. However, until recently, most mid-IR observations of these stars consisted of large aperture photometry and the details of their environments were not known. Elisha's observations have shown that much of the IR excess originates in sources unrelated to circumstellar disks.

Below we see a mid-IR image of the Herbig star AS 310.