A Caltech Library Service

The First Extensive Spectroscopic Study of Young Stars in the North America and Pelican Nebulae

Fang, Min and Hillenbrand, Lynne A. and Kim, Jinyoung Serena and Findeisen, Krzysztof and Herczeg, Gregory J. and Carpenter, John M. and Rebull, Luisa M. and Wang, Hongchi (2020) The First Extensive Spectroscopic Study of Young Stars in the North America and Pelican Nebulae. Astrophysical Journal, 904 (2). Art. No. 146. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abba84.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present a spectroscopic survey of over 3400 potential members in the North America and Pelican Nebulae (NAP) using several low-resolution (R ≈ 1300–2000) spectrographs: Palomar/Norris, WIYN/Hydra, Keck/DEep Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph (DEIMOS), and the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT)/Hectospec. We identify 580 young stars as likely members of the NAP region based on criteria involving infrared excess, Li I 6708 Å absorption, X-ray emission, parallax, and proper motions. The spectral types of individual spectra are derived by fitting them with templates that are either empirical spectra of pre-main-sequence stars or model atmospheres. The templates are artificially veiled, and a best-fit combination of spectral type and veiling parameter is derived for each star. We use the spectral types with archival photometry to derive V-band extinction and stellar luminosity. From the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, the median age of the young stars is about 1 Myr, with a luminosity dispersion of ~0.3–0.4 dex. We investigate the photometric variability of the spectroscopic member sample using Zwicky Transient Facility data and conclude that photometric variability, while present, does not significantly contribute to the luminosity dispersion. While larger than the formal errors, the luminosity dispersion is smaller than if veiling were not taken into account in our spectral typing process. The measured ages of the stellar kinematic groups, combined with the inferred ages for embedded stellar populations revealed by Spitzer, suggest a sequential history of star formation in the NAP region.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
httpS:// Paper
Fang, Min0000-0001-8060-1321
Kim, Jinyoung Serena0000-0001-6072-9344
Findeisen, Krzysztof0000-0003-1898-5760
Herczeg, Gregory J.0000-0002-7154-6065
Carpenter, John M.0000-0003-2251-0602
Rebull, Luisa M.0000-0001-6381-515X
Wang, Hongchi0000-0003-0746-7968
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 July 16; revised 2020 September 9; accepted 2020 September 10; published 2020 November 27. Many thanks to the anonymous referee for comments that helped to improve this paper. We thank Michael A. Kuhn for discussions about the NAP region. We recognize the contributions of former Caltech SURF students Daniel DeFelippis and Danika Wellington to our efforts. This paper uses data products produced by the OIR Telescope Data Center, supported by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC; Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. We use ZTF data, enabled by support from the National Science Foundation under grant AST-1440341, Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Facilities: Palomar:P200 (Norris) - , Keck:I (DEIMOS) - , MMT (Hectospec) - , Palomar:P48 (ZTF). -
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Smithsonian Astrophysical ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Stellar accretion disks ; Protoplanetary disks ; Pre-main sequence stars ; Stellar spectral types ; Star formation ; Star forming regions ; Stellar associations
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Stellar accretion disks (1579); Protoplanetary disks (1300); Pre-main sequence stars (1290); Stellar spectral types (2051); Star formation (1569); Star forming regions (1565); Stellar associations (1582)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201009-093746303
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Min Fang et al 2020 ApJ 904 146
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105947
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Oct 2020 17:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:48

Repository Staff Only: item control page