A new map for a birthplace of stars

A new map for a birthplace of stars

A Yale-led research group has created the most detailed maps
yet of a vast seedbed of stars similar to Earth’s Sun.


The maps provide unprecedented detail of the structure of the
Orion A , the closest
star-forming region of high-mass stars. Orion A hosts a variety
of star-forming environments, including dense star clusters
similar to the one where Earth’s Sun is believed to have
formed.

“Our maps probe a wide range of physical scales needed to study
how stars form in molecular , and how young stars impact their parent
cloud,” said Yale postdoctoral associate Shuo Kong, first
author of a study about the group’s research that has been
accepted by the Astrophysical Journal Supplements.

The research team includes astronomers from institutions in the
U.S., Chile, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K. The
team’s principal investigators are Yale astronomy professor
Héctor G. Arce, ALMA Observatory scientist John Carpenter, and
Caltech astronomy professor Anneila Sargent.

Kong said the team constructed its maps of the Orion A cloud by
combining data from a single-dish telescope and an
interferometer. The Yale Center for Research Computing assisted
in handling the large dataset and producing the images.


The dataset and maps are collectively known as the CARMA-NRO
Orion Survey. The name refers to the Combined Array for
Research in Millimeter Astronomy (CARMA), an interferometer
that was located in California, and the Nobeyama Radio
Observatory (NRO) telescope, in Japan.

“Our survey is a unique combination of data from two very
different telescopes,” said Yale graduate student Jesse
Feddersen, a co-author of the study. “We have combined the zoom
of CARMA with the wide-angle of NRO to simultaneously capture
the details of individual forming stars and the overall shape
and motions of the giant molecular cloud.”

In addition, the maps will help researchers calibrate star
formation models for extragalactic studies. “The data we
provide here will benefit research on a broad range of
evolutionary stages of the star formation process and on the
environment stars form,” Arce said.

Yale graduate student María José Maureira is also a co-author
of the study.

“The combined observations are a great help for astronomers
seeking to understand how fast and efficiently stars form. For
example, their maps show the energy released by high-mass
has a strong impact on the cloud
environment,” said Glen Langston, program director at the
National Science Foundation.

Explore further:
What’s
happening in Orion’s Horsehead Nebula?

More information: The CARMA-NRO Orion Survey,
arXiv:1803.11522 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1803.11522


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