Dynamical decay of a massive multiple system in Orion KL?
GOMEZ L., RODRIGUEZ L.F., LOINARD L., LIZANO S., POVEDA A. and ALLEN C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present absolute astrometry of 35 radio sources in the Orion Trapezium and Becklin-Neugebauer/Kleinman-Low (BN/KL) regions, obtained from Very Large Array archival observations collected over a period of 15 years. By averaging the results for all the sources, we estimate the mean absolute proper motion of Orion to be–in Galactic coordinates–µℓcosb=+2.1±0.2 mas/yr, µb=-0.1±0.2 mas/yr. These values agree remarkably well with those expected from the differential rotation of the Milky Way. Subtraction of this mean motion from the individual measurements allows us to register all proper motions to the rest frame of the Orion Nebula and to identify radio sources with large residual velocities. In the KL region, we find three sources in this situation: the BN object, the radio source I, and the radio counterpart of the infrared source n. All three objects appear to be moving away from a common point where they must all have been located about 500 years ago. This suggests that all three sources were originally part of a multiple massive stellar system that recently disintegrated as a result of a close dynamical interaction.