Astronomer of Miyako-jima descent to research in France

Astronomer of Miyako-jima descent to research in France

Yoshito Shimajiri (left) who will be employed at an institute for astronomy in France and his father Yoshikazu, in Saitama Prefecture.

May 27, 2013 Yoko Shima of Ryukyu Shimpo

Yoshito Shimajiri, a 31-year-old astronomer whose father is from Miyako-jima City, will be hired at the National Institute of Saclay in France from June. It is rare for this institute to employ Japanese researchers. When Shimajiri came to Miyako-jima visiting family he would observe the stars with a telescope that he brought with him. “I was really glad to be able to see stars so clearly in Miyako-jima. I want to work towards finding a solution to the mystery of why stars are born,” said Shimajiri.

Born in Saitama Prefecture, where he now lives, Shimaijri studied at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo after graduating from Sophia University. He has worked as a researcher at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory in Nagano Prefecture since 2010. The focus of his study is the origin of stars and where new stars are being born in a stellar nursery or molecular cloud.

His team observed the Orion with the huge radio telescopes of observatories in Nobeyama and in Chile. They found that gas ejected from one star has possibly produced a star formation around it. After the results of their research were reported in international academic conferences he was invited to work at the National Institute of Saclay in France.

There are few facts that the researchers know regarding the origin of stars. Shimajiri says, “Astronomy is something which even if a person dedicates all his or her life to it, not everything can be known. However, I will keep working hard on my research.” He delivered a class on astronomy at Miyajima Elementary School in Miyako-jima two years ago. “In the future I would like to work teaching
somewhere like Okinawa where there isn’t a department of astronomy in the local universities,” he said.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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