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Duration of Star Formation in Galactic Giant Molecular Clouds. I. The Great Nebula in Carina

Povich, Matthew S. and Maldonado, Jessica T. and Nuñez, Evan Haze and Robitaille, Thomas P. (2019) Duration of Star Formation in Galactic Giant Molecular Clouds. I. The Great Nebula in Carina. Astrophysical Journal, 881 (1). Art. No. 37. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab26b2.

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We present a novel infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) modeling methodology that uses likelihood-based weighting of the model fitting results to construct probabilistic Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams (pHRD) for X-ray-identified, intermediate-mass (2–8 M⊙), pre-main-sequence young stellar populations. This methodology is designed specifically for application to young stellar populations suffering strong, differential extinction (ΔA_V > 10 mag), typical of Galactic massive star-forming regions. We pilot this technique in the Carina Nebula Complex (CNC) by modeling the 1–8 μm SEDs of 2269 likely stellar members that exhibit no excess emission from circumstellar dust disks at 4.5 μm or shorter wavelengths. A subset of ~100 intermediate-mass stars in the lightly obscured Trumpler 14 and 16 clusters have available spectroscopic T_(eff), measured from the Gaia-ESO survey. We correctly identify the stellar temperature in 85% of cases, and the aggregate pHRD for all sources returns the same peak in the stellar age distribution as obtained using the spectroscopic T_(eff). The SED model parameter distributions of stellar mass and evolutionary age reveal significant variation in the duration of star formation among four large-scale stellar overdensities within the CNC and a large distributed stellar population. Star formation began ~10 Myr ago and continues to the present day, with the star formation rate peaking ≾3 Myr ago when the massive Trumpler 14 and 16 clusters formed. We make public the set of 100,000 SED models generated from standard pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks and our custom software package for generating pHRDs and mass–age distributions from the SED fitting results.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Povich, Matthew S.0000-0001-9062-3583
Robitaille, Thomas P.0000-0002-8642-1329
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 April 19; revised 2019 May 29; accepted 2019 June 2; published 2019 August 9. We thank M.A. Kuhn and L.A. Hillenbrand for numerous discussions and suggestions that substantially improved this work. We are grateful to the anonymous referee for helpful comments and suggestions that improved the interpretation of the spectroscopic comparison sample and the explanation of our methodology. This research was supported by the NSF through grant CAREER-1454333 (PI M.S. Povich). J.T.M. and E.H.N. acknowledge support from the Cal-Bridge program through NSF awards DUE-1356133 and AST-1559559. The scientific results are based in part on observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and published previously in cited articles. This work is based in part on archival data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by NASA and the NSF. Facilities: CXO (ACIS) - , Spitzer (IRAC) - , CTIO:2MASS. -
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:methods: data analysis – open clusters and associations: individual (Carina Nebula) – stars: formation – stars: pre-main-sequence – X-rays: stars
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190809-143600576
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Official Citation:Matthew S. Povich et al 2019 ApJ 881 37
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97728
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Aug 2019 21:47
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:34

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