NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007B-0142

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Proposal Information for 2007B-0142


PI: Ben Davies, Rochester Institute of Technology, davies@cis.rit.edu
Address: Center for Imaging Science, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14610, USA

CoI: John MacKenty, STScI, USA
CoI: Simon Clark, Open University, UK
CoI: Don Figer, RIT, USA

Title: The stellar content and formation history of the Giant HII region W51 using IRMOS

Abstract: The W51 Giant Molecular Cloud is amongst the most massive within the Galaxy, and harbours widespread and significant massive star formation (SF). However this activity appears qualitatively different from the spatially segregated, sequentially triggered SF occuring in e.g. the G305 and the 30 Dor star forming regions, apparently being quasi- simultaneous and multi-seeded. We propose to obtain near-IR spectroscopy of selected regions within W51 to complement planned deep imaging observations, in order to (i) determine if SF at these sites is proceeding independently or instead is triggered by older, adjacent activity and (ii) to investigate the claims of Okumura et al. (2000) for a top heavy IMF and hence to investigate if the IMF shows an environmental dependence. Finally, a measurement of the total stellar mass in W51 will enable the SF efficiency to be determined and compared to other star forming regions, to investigate potential dependencies on environment or the mode of SF, e.g triggered or multi-seeded.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007B-0142

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