AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 15 Young Stellar Associations
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[15.01] Measuring the Velocities of Young Stars in Ophiuchus

J. Foster (Harvard University/Center for Astrophysics), COMPLETE Collaboration

Young stars are born in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) which have turbulent line widths of roughly 1-2 km/s. This study, in collaboration with the COMPLETE (Co-ordinated and Molecular Probe Line and Thermal Emission) Study of Star-forming regions, aims to measure whether the stars born within these clouds share the same velocity distribution.

If young stars have a substantially higher velocity dispersion than their gas, then studies of star formation which look only directly at GMCs will miss all the quick young stars which have left the area, impacting, among other things, estimates of star formation efficiency.

Some young stars are kicked out of their birthplace with high velocities due to supernovae or dynamical ejection. These runaways are worth study on their own merits, since it has recently been discovered that one such object (PV Ceph) is moving at 22 km/s with respect to the gas it is imbedded in, and yet appears to have an accretion disc which would probably be stripped off by any ejection mechanism.

Through a combination of many all-sky surveys, this project attempts to measure both the general velocity dispersion of young stars and identify possible runaway young stars in the Ophiuchus molecular complex. COMPLETE observations of this region provide the necessary reference frame (the location and velocity distribution of the star-forming gas) for this study.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to jfoster@cfa.harvard.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.