NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008B-0322

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Proposal Information for 2008B-0322


PI: Patrick Hartigan, Rice University, hartigan@sparky.rice.edu
Address: Physics Department, 6100 S. Main, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA

CoI: Ilse Cleeves, Rice University

Title: Star Formation in the Cygnus OB2 Association

Abstract: Although Cygnus OB2 is the closest (1.6 kpc) and richest (> 100 O stars) large cluster of massive stars near the Sun and harbors one of the most luminous stars in the galaxy as well as almost a thousand lower mass X-ray bright young stars, there has not yet been a thorough near-IR study of the star forming activity in this region owing to high extinction along the line of sight and to the large spatial extent of the cluster. We propose to remedy this situation by using NEWFIRM to find all the young stars with inner disks in Cyg OB2 down to a mass limit of ~ 0.5 M_\odot, and to search for shocked outflows and jets in the region with narrowband emission line imaging. When combined with existing X-ray surveys and future spectroscopy, the NEWFIRM images will provide an unprecedented large sample of young stars in a single region, enabling statistically significant studies of all the classic areas of star formation research, including rotation, IMF, age distribution, accretion history, jets, photoionized disks, sequential star formation, and binarity. This project requires high near-IR sensitivity and a large field of view, and is ideally matched to NEWFIRM. A test spectrum of an optically-visible 2MASS source with a large infrared excesses in Cyg OB2 shows a broad H(alpha) emission line typical of a classical T Tauri star. The 2MASS near-IR color plots suggest that hundreds or even thousands of additional classical T Tauri stars await discovery here.


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