NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0373

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Proposal Information for 2006B-0373


PI: Massimo Robberto, Space Telescope Science Institute, robberto@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

CoI: Kester Smith, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: John Mackenty, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Michael R. Meyer, Steward Observatory

Title: IRMOS Spectroscopy of the Orion Nebula Cluster

Abstract: We propose to use IRMOS to perform an infrared spectroscopic survey of the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC). We will target Pre-Main Sequence (PMS) objects too red to have their spectra taken at shorter wavelengths. At the same time, the multi-object capability of IRMOS will allow us to classify hundreds of PMS objects across the full range of stellar masses. This survey ideally complements the HST Treasury Program on the ONC we have recently completed. Coupling the exquisite accuracy of the optical and near-IR HST photometry with the IRMOS spectral classifications, we will build the most accurate HR diagram ever made for the low-mass end of the PMS. This will allow us to attack fundamental questions of star formation from a firm, quantitative assessment of the physical parameters of each stellar source, e.g. luminosity, mass, age, accretion rates. We will analyse the star formation history of the cluster (age and age-spread vs. position) and the structure and variation of the IMF. Probing into the brown-dwarfs regime, we will classify low luminosity sources spread across the Great Orion Nebula while confirming their actual membership. The survey will also provide a unique dataset for studying the structure and evolution of the inner disks around hundreds of nearly coeval stars of different mass. This study is timely and highly needed, considering the amount of observing time recently dedicated to the ONC by several facilities, including HST, Spitzer and Chandra, and the general need for accurate spectral classification of PMS in Orion.


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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