Katharina Immer

Research Interest - General

My current work is focused on the chemistry and kinematics in the birth clouds of high-mass stars in different phases of star formation (from cold pre-stellar clouds to HII regions).

Spectral line observations of the star forming clouds at different spatial resolutions permit the determination of the excitation conditions (temperatures and densities) and abundances of molecules in the gas on different scales (from clouds to cores). Comparing spectral line observations of clouds in different stages of star formation, the change of the chemistry in the material around the protostar(s) can be studied in detail along an evolutionary sequence.

The shape and central velocity of spectral lines yield information about the kinematics in the clouds, in particular about infall, outflow or rotating motions of the molecular material. This provides an insight into the dynamical processes at work that shape the star forming regions. Trigonometric parallax observations of maser sources in the star forming clouds provide distance as well as proper motion measurements. The determination of proper motions is another method to study the kinematics in the star forming regions.

Current and Past Research

During my PhD, I obtained multi-wavelength observations of the high-mass star forming complexes W33 and DR 21 to study their chemistry and kinematics.

In my Diplom thesis, I focused on star formation studies in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) around the Galactic Center of our Galaxy.