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Wednesday 23 Nov 2016MYStIX: A new look at clustered star formation

Prof. Eric Feigelson - Penn State University

Physics, 4th Floor 14:00-15:00

The origins of rich star clusters in giant molecular clouds is widely discussed: Do they form quickly or slowly? Do they form as a coherent structure or by merging subclumps? How does OB stellar feedback affect the molecular environment? Progress impeded by the difficulties of acquiring a stellar census in massive star forming regions due to stellar crowding, HII region nebulosity, and contamination by Galactic field stars. I describe a project, Massive Young Star-Forming Complex Study in Infrared and X-ray (MYStIX) that combines X-ray sources from the Chandra X-ray Observatory with infrared sources from UKIRT and Spitzer Space Telescope to produce a catalog of >30,000 probable young stars in massive Galactic star-forming regions at distances 0.4-4 kpc. Results based on this star sample include: diversity in star clusters morphology, dynamical relaxation, and mass segregation; clear evidence for dynamical expansion of clusters and possible evidence for subcluster merging; expected age gradients across star formation regions and unexpected age gradients within rich clusters.

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