My current activities as an astronomer

I am an astronomer, finished my Ph.D. work in 1999 at Astronomical Institute, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University , experienced post-doctral works in Mizusawa Astrogeodynamics Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Europe (JIVE) in the filed of radio astronomy. I am now working at the Center for General Education, Institute for Comprehensive Education and the Amanogawa Galaxy Astronomy Research Center (AGARC), Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University as an associate professor for astronomical research and education.

One of the current topics of my researches is stellar astrophysics on the basis of observational investigation of cosmic maser sources by using very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) . The masers (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) occur in regions of on-going star formation and around evolved stars like Mira variable stars and exhibit interesting 3-dimensional motions, which may reflect formation process of stars and mass-losing process of evolved stars. The masers are also good standard candles to measure directly distances from the Sun to the maser sources in the whole of our Galaxy. Such measurements enables us to obtain the detailed atlas of our Galaxy.

I have used radio telescopes in the world, 10-m telescope of NAOJ, Mizusawa, Japanese VLBI network for radio astronomy (JVN since 2005), VLBA(Very Long Baseline Array) and VLA(Very Large Array) of National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the United Statues of America as well as EVN (European VLBI Network) in Europe. At present, I am contributing to mapping the Milky Way Galaxy by using NAOJ's VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA). Furthermore, I am willing to study using the next generation large telescope array Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and starting some exploration using the Australian SKA Pathfinder (AKSAP). For accelerating this activity, I worked at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) for one year in total during 2012-2013, leading to development of international exchange programs with Japan. Currently I am leading the ESTEMA, one of the three Large Program projects using East Asia VLBI Network (EAVN).

Clearly it is impossible to conduct such large astronomical observation projects alone. I have been making efforts to develop international collaboraitons and research teams with my astronomical frineds in Japan and overseas. Eventually, usnirversity students (not necessarily those in Kagoshima University) will be invloved as collaborators in the next generation. My educational wokrs in the university are motivated by such astronomical human resource development.