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Proposal Information for 2001B-0088


PI: Takao Doi, Rice University, tdoi@ems.jsc.nasa.gov
Address: MS-61, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77251, USA

CoI: Patrick Hartigan, Rice University
CoI: C. Robert O'Dell, Vanderbilt University

Title: Deciphering the Orion Nebula by Velocity Mapping

Abstract: The Orion Nebula (M42)is the closest region of star formation that involves massive stars. As such, it presents the best opportunity for studying the interaction of O-star winds and low-mass-star jets and winds with the ambient material. It is important to understand these interactions since they strongly affect the conditions in the nebula (which is a fundamental reference point in the study of the evolution of abundances in the Milky Way Galaxy) and can be used to derive the properties of the outflowing material. Since outflow seems to be an integral (and perhaps necessary) part of the formation of low mass stars, M42 presents the best opportunity to characterize these outflows in a group of stars of well defined distance and age. There has been a continuous stream of investigations which have resulted in both a fundamentally new model for the object and identification of new types of problems which may have significant impact on basic issues like the elemental abundance of the region. Our intent is to complete the mapping of the velocities in the central region of the nebula in lines sampling the three major emission layers. We are doing this at a spatial and velocity resolution exceeding all previous attempts, with the velocity improvement being a factor of five better than previously done, thus allowing us to probe the motions of the nebula at the fundamental limit set by the inherent line widths. This observing program builds on a substantial body of knowledge accummulated over the last decade through observations with the Coude Feed at KPNO, the Rutgers Fabry-Perot at CTIO, KeckI HIRES, and two-epoch images with the HST and a fraction of the program executed in January and October, 2000.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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