Collisional dynamics of stellar systems in the Northern and Southern Coalsack regions.
FRESNEAU A., VAUGHAN A.E. and ARGYLE R.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
The visual interstellar extinction in the Northern and Southern Coalsack regions is estimated from a photographic survey of proper motion and B,V photometry of 6x104 stars as faint as apparent magnitude 14 over a field of view of 6°x6° in each region. Each cloud is located at a distance of about 160±50 pc from the Sun and exceeds the mean interstellar extinction by more than 0.7±0.1 mag. Galactic plane orbits of 103 stars located at the same distance of 160±50 pc from the Sun in these regions show a semimajor axis of 8.45±0.15 kpc and a mean inclination of 0°.3±0°.2 over the Galactic plane, suggesting a mean impact parameter of 9±3 pc with diffuse clouds of relative velocity on the order of 4±1 km/s. The weak distant encounter of stars with the cold neutral medium can be explained by a mean mass of about 2500±1250 M☉for the gas and dust content in order to account for the diffusion of stellar orbits. A mean displacement of 0".012±0".001 yr–1 of the western limb of the Southern Coalsack is estimated in the northwest direction and permits a search for strong close stellar encounters. The transfer of angular momentum between the interstellar medium and the scattering of stellar orbits resulting from the encounters suggests a dissipation rate of (2.0±0.7)x10–4M☉yr–1, leading to an equipartition time of 12±4 Myr. A spin rate of 0.25±0.05 km/s/pc of the diffuse clouds in the Southern Coalsack is measured and interpreted as the result of the perturbation induced by stellar systems during flyby encounters with a crossing time of 3 Myr, suggesting a cloud core radius of 1 pc.