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Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Observations of the Evolution of Massive Star-forming Regions

Koenig, X. P. and Leisawitz, D. T. and Benford, D. J. and Rebull, L. M. and Padgett, D. L. and Assef, R. J. (2012) Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Observations of the Evolution of Massive Star-forming Regions. Astrophysical Journal, 744 (2). p. 130. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present the results of a mid-infrared survey of 11 outer Galaxy massive star-forming regions and 3 open clusters with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Using a newly developed photometric scheme to identify young stellar objects and exclude extragalactic contamination, we have studied the distribution of young stars within each region. These data tend to support the hypothesis that latter generations may be triggered by the interaction of winds and radiation from the first burst of massive star formation with the molecular cloud material leftover from that earlier generation of stars. We dub this process the "fireworks hypothesis" since star formation by this mechanism would proceed rapidly and resemble a burst of fireworks. We have also analyzed small cutout WISE images of the structures around the edges of these massive star-forming regions. We observe large (1-3 pc size) pillar and trunk-like structures of diffuse emission nebulosity tracing excited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules and small dust grains at the perimeter of the massive star-forming regions. These structures contain small clusters of emerging Class I and Class II sources, but some are forming only a single to a few new stars.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Benford, D. J.0000-0002-9884-4206
Rebull, L. M.0000-0001-6381-515X
Padgett, D. L.0000-0001-5334-5107
Assef, R. J.0000-0002-9508-3667
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 July 8; accepted 2011 October 18; published 2011 December 22. The authors thank Britt Griswold and Dan Stern for vital contributions to this paper. We thank the referee for a helpful report that improved the paper and its conclusions. This research was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Goddard Space Flight Center, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. This work is based on data obtained from (1) the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); (2) the Two Micron All Sky Survey, a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)/Caltech, funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation; (3) the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France; and (4) the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by JPL, Caltech, under a contract with NASA. Facilities: Spitzer (IRAC, MIPS)
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:circumstellar matter; H II regions; infrared: stars; stars: formation; stars: pre-main sequence
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120130-115037613
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Observations of the Evolution of Massive Star-forming Regions X. P. Koenig et al. 2012 ApJ 744 130
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29022
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:30 Jan 2012 21:01
Last Modified:09 Dec 2019 21:31

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