Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 40 - The Environment of Stars: From Protostars to the Main Sequence.
Display session, Tuesday, June 11
Great Hall,

[40.01] Toward Determining the Galactic Distribution of Protostars

M. Cushing, D. Clemens (Boston University)

The goal of this Senior Distinction Thesis project at Boston University is to construct a three dimensional map of the distribution of protostars in the first quadrant of our galaxy. We will begin with a preselected group of protostars, obtain radial velocities for each protostar, and then use the galactic rotation curve to determine the distance to each protostar. These distances, along with the galactic latitude and longitude of the protostars, will allow us to construct a map of the distribution of protostars in the first quadrant. This map will be an important starting point for determining the luminosities of each protostar and the protostellar luminosity function.

The first step is to select a group of protostars. We have begun a NASA-funded project to catalog all the protostars in our galaxy. Our group is in the process of analyzing some five thousand candidates to ascertain which are true protostars.

The next step is to obtain the radial velocity of each protostar. Through SIMBAD, we have discovered that many of the protostar candidates have well established radial velocities. The remaining radial velocities will be obtained via radio observations of CO and CS gas associated with the protostars.

Galactocentric distances for the protostars will be established using the rotation curve of Clemens (1985). Resolution of the near/far distance ambiguity will be based on association with dense gas, as performed for galactic HII regions by Clemens et al (1988).

Program listing for Tuesday