Rapid circumstellar disk evolution and an accelerating star formation rate in the infrared dark cloud M17 SWex

Matthew S. Povich, Leisa K. Townsley, Thomas P. Robitaille, Patrick Sean Broos, Wesley T. Orbin, Robert R. King, Tim Naylor, Barbara A. Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a catalog of 840 X-ray sources and first results from a 100 ks Chandra X-ray Observatory imaging study of the filamentary infrared (IR) dark cloud G014.225-00.506, which forms the central regions of a larger cloud complex known as the M17 southwest extension (M17 SWex). In addition to the rich population of protostars and young stellar objects with dusty circumstellar disks revealed by archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we discover a population of X-ray-emitting, intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars that lack IR excess emission from circumstellar disks. We model the IR spectral energy distributions of this source population to measure its mass function and place new constraints on the destruction timescales for the inner dust disk for 2-8 M stars. We also place a lower limit on the star formation rate (SFR) and find that it is quite high ( M yr-1), equivalent to several Orion Nebula Clusters in G14.225-0.506 alone, and likely accelerating. The cloud complex has not produced a population of massive, O-type stars commensurate with its SFR. This absence of very massive (20 M) stars suggests that either (1) M17 SWex is an example of a distributed mode of star formation that will produce a large OB association dominated by intermediate-mass stars but relatively few massive clusters, or (2) the massive cores are still in the process of accreting sufficient mass to form massive clusters hosting O stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume825
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2016

Fingerprint

star formation rate
M stars
Orion nebula
stars
pre-main sequence stars
O stars
Space Infrared Telescope Facility
x rays
protostars
spectral energy distribution
destruction
catalogs
star formation
observatories
observatory
dust
timescale
rate
energy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Povich, Matthew S. ; Townsley, Leisa K. ; Robitaille, Thomas P. ; Broos, Patrick Sean ; Orbin, Wesley T. ; King, Robert R. ; Naylor, Tim ; Whitney, Barbara A. / Rapid circumstellar disk evolution and an accelerating star formation rate in the infrared dark cloud M17 SWex. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2016 ; Vol. 825, No. 2.
@article{db6ce74e0e1a4cc9836ecdf9a9e6b0df,
title = "Rapid circumstellar disk evolution and an accelerating star formation rate in the infrared dark cloud M17 SWex",
abstract = "We present a catalog of 840 X-ray sources and first results from a 100 ks Chandra X-ray Observatory imaging study of the filamentary infrared (IR) dark cloud G014.225-00.506, which forms the central regions of a larger cloud complex known as the M17 southwest extension (M17 SWex). In addition to the rich population of protostars and young stellar objects with dusty circumstellar disks revealed by archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we discover a population of X-ray-emitting, intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars that lack IR excess emission from circumstellar disks. We model the IR spectral energy distributions of this source population to measure its mass function and place new constraints on the destruction timescales for the inner dust disk for 2-8 M stars. We also place a lower limit on the star formation rate (SFR) and find that it is quite high ( M yr-1), equivalent to several Orion Nebula Clusters in G14.225-0.506 alone, and likely accelerating. The cloud complex has not produced a population of massive, O-type stars commensurate with its SFR. This absence of very massive (20 M) stars suggests that either (1) M17 SWex is an example of a distributed mode of star formation that will produce a large OB association dominated by intermediate-mass stars but relatively few massive clusters, or (2) the massive cores are still in the process of accreting sufficient mass to form massive clusters hosting O stars.",
author = "Povich, {Matthew S.} and Townsley, {Leisa K.} and Robitaille, {Thomas P.} and Broos, {Patrick Sean} and Orbin, {Wesley T.} and King, {Robert R.} and Tim Naylor and Whitney, {Barbara A.}",
year = "2016",
month = "7",
day = "10",
doi = "10.3847/0004-637X/825/2/125",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "825",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "2",

}

Rapid circumstellar disk evolution and an accelerating star formation rate in the infrared dark cloud M17 SWex. / Povich, Matthew S.; Townsley, Leisa K.; Robitaille, Thomas P.; Broos, Patrick Sean; Orbin, Wesley T.; King, Robert R.; Naylor, Tim; Whitney, Barbara A.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 825, No. 2, 125, 10.07.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rapid circumstellar disk evolution and an accelerating star formation rate in the infrared dark cloud M17 SWex

AU - Povich, Matthew S.

AU - Townsley, Leisa K.

AU - Robitaille, Thomas P.

AU - Broos, Patrick Sean

AU - Orbin, Wesley T.

AU - King, Robert R.

AU - Naylor, Tim

AU - Whitney, Barbara A.

PY - 2016/7/10

Y1 - 2016/7/10

N2 - We present a catalog of 840 X-ray sources and first results from a 100 ks Chandra X-ray Observatory imaging study of the filamentary infrared (IR) dark cloud G014.225-00.506, which forms the central regions of a larger cloud complex known as the M17 southwest extension (M17 SWex). In addition to the rich population of protostars and young stellar objects with dusty circumstellar disks revealed by archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we discover a population of X-ray-emitting, intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars that lack IR excess emission from circumstellar disks. We model the IR spectral energy distributions of this source population to measure its mass function and place new constraints on the destruction timescales for the inner dust disk for 2-8 M stars. We also place a lower limit on the star formation rate (SFR) and find that it is quite high ( M yr-1), equivalent to several Orion Nebula Clusters in G14.225-0.506 alone, and likely accelerating. The cloud complex has not produced a population of massive, O-type stars commensurate with its SFR. This absence of very massive (20 M) stars suggests that either (1) M17 SWex is an example of a distributed mode of star formation that will produce a large OB association dominated by intermediate-mass stars but relatively few massive clusters, or (2) the massive cores are still in the process of accreting sufficient mass to form massive clusters hosting O stars.

AB - We present a catalog of 840 X-ray sources and first results from a 100 ks Chandra X-ray Observatory imaging study of the filamentary infrared (IR) dark cloud G014.225-00.506, which forms the central regions of a larger cloud complex known as the M17 southwest extension (M17 SWex). In addition to the rich population of protostars and young stellar objects with dusty circumstellar disks revealed by archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we discover a population of X-ray-emitting, intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars that lack IR excess emission from circumstellar disks. We model the IR spectral energy distributions of this source population to measure its mass function and place new constraints on the destruction timescales for the inner dust disk for 2-8 M stars. We also place a lower limit on the star formation rate (SFR) and find that it is quite high ( M yr-1), equivalent to several Orion Nebula Clusters in G14.225-0.506 alone, and likely accelerating. The cloud complex has not produced a population of massive, O-type stars commensurate with its SFR. This absence of very massive (20 M) stars suggests that either (1) M17 SWex is an example of a distributed mode of star formation that will produce a large OB association dominated by intermediate-mass stars but relatively few massive clusters, or (2) the massive cores are still in the process of accreting sufficient mass to form massive clusters hosting O stars.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84978476671&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84978476671&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3847/0004-637X/825/2/125

DO - 10.3847/0004-637X/825/2/125

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84978476671

VL - 825

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 2

M1 - 125

ER -