Alumni: Burton F. Jones, 1970
Asst Director Lick Observatory, Emeritus Professor/Astronomer, UC Santa Cruz
The observational work of Burton Jones lies mainly in astrometry and spectroscopy. He makes use of proper motions, employing galaxies as a reference frame, in an ongoing program to study stellar dynamics. Plates from the 3-meter telescope provide material for astrometric studies of young clusters. Reductions, using the automatic measuring machine at UCSC, employ the most modern computational and measuring methods.
His spectroscopic studies are largely concerned with young stars in dark clouds, recently formed star clusters, and lithium abundance in young stars.
His work centers on rotation, chromospheric activity, and lithium abundance in solar-type stars, using the Hamilton Spectrograph on the Shane Telescope and the HIRES Spectrograph on the Keck Telescope. As stars age and lose angular momentum, both their surface rotation and angular momentum should decrease, and this is generally observed. Surprisingly, it appears that surface lithium abundance is also correlated with rotation and surface activity, and hence age. Because lithium is destroyed at a relatively low temperature, one does not expect to see any surface lithium on low-mass stars. By observing stars of different masses in clusters of different ages, we hope that we can understand better the evolution of stars like the sun