Astrophys. J., 687, 1303-1322 (2008/November-2)
The star formation in the L1615/L1616 cometary cloud.
GANDOLFI D., ALCALA J.M., LECCIA S., FRASCA A., SPEZZI L., COVINO E., TESTI L., MARILLI E. and KAINULAINEN J.
Abstract (from CDS):
The present work aims at performing a comprehensive census and characterization of the pre-main-sequence (PMS) population in the cometary cloud L1615/L1616, in order to assess the significance of the triggered star formation scenario and investigate the impact of massive stars on its star formation history and mass spectrum. Our study is based on UBVRCIC and JHKsphotometry, as well as optical multiobject spectroscopy. We performed a physical parameterization of the young stellar population in L1615/L1616. We identified 25 new T Tauri stars mainly projected on the dense head of the cometary cloud, almost doubling the current number of known members. We studied the spatial distribution of the cloud members as a function of the age and Hα emission. The star formation efficiency (SFE) in the cloud is ∼7%-8%, as expected for molecular clouds in the vicinity of OB associations. The slope of the initial mass function (IMF), in the mass range 0.1 M☉≤M≤5.5 M☉, is consistent with that of other T and OB associations, providing further support of a universal IMF down to the hydrogen-burning limit, regardless of environmental conditions. The cometary appearance, as well as the high SFE, can be explained in terms of triggered star formation induced by the strong UV radiation from OB stars or supernova shock waves. The age spread and both the spatial and age distribution of the PMS objects provide strong evidence of sequential, multiple events and possibly still ongoing star formation activity in the cloud.
Stars: Circumstellar Matter - Infrared: Stars - ISM: individual (L1615) - ISM: individual (L1616) - Stars: Formation - Stars: Low-Mass, Brown Dwarfs - Stars: Pre-Main-Sequence
Table 2: [AWC2004] TTS JHHMMSS.s+DDMMSS N=21 added.
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