Astrophys. J., 581, 1194-1203 (2002/December-3)
Star formation in space and time: Taurus-Auriga.
PALLA F. and STAHLER S.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
To understand the formation of stellar groups, one must first document carefully the birth pattern within real clusters and associations. In this study of Taurus-Auriga, we combine pre-main-sequence ages from our own evolutionary tracks with stellar positions from observational surveys. Aided by the extensive millimeter data on the molecular clouds, we develop a picture of the region's history. Star formation began, at a relatively low level and in a spatially diffuse manner, at least 107 yr in the past. Within the last few million years, new stars have been produced at an accelerating rate, almost exclusively within a confined group of striated cloud filaments. The gas both inside and around the filaments appears to be in force balance. Thus, the appearance of the filaments is due to global, quasi-static contraction of the parent cloud material. Gravity drives this contraction and shock dissipation mediates it, but the internal motion of the gas does not appear to be turbulent. The accelerating nature of recent star formation means that the condensation of cloud cores is a threshold phenomenon, requiring a minimum background density. Other, nearby cloud regions, including Lupus and Chamaeleon, contain some locales that have attained this density, and others that have not. In the latter, we find extensive and sometimes massive molecular gas that is still devoid of young stars.
ISM: Clouds - ISM: Individual: Name: Taurus-Auriga - ISM: Kinematics and Dynamics - Galaxy: Open Clusters and Associations: General - Stars: Formation - Stars: Pre-Main-Sequence
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