NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0221

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0221


PI: Matthew S. Povich, University of Wisconsin--Madison, povich@astro.wisc.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 475 N. Charter Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA

CoI: Edward Churchwell, University of Wisconsin--Madison
CoI: Leisa Townsley, Pennsylvania State University
CoI: Barbara A. Whitney, Space Science Institute
CoI: Eric Feigelson, Pennsylvania State University

Title: The Initial Mass Function and Star Formation Rates in Obscured Galactic Massive Open Clusters

Abstract: We propose a series of observations with the WHIRC instrument on the 3.5-m WIYN telescope to obtain high-resolution near-infrared images and photometry of obscured, young massive Galactic open clusters. We have selected 9 target clusters that: (1) Populate the upper reaches of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) with multiple O stars; (2) Exhibit observational signposts of ongoing star formation; and (3) Are included in existing or planned archival data from both the \em Chandra X-ray Observatory and the \em Spitzer Space Telescope. We will combine our JHK_S photometry from WHIRC with archival X-ray and IR catalogs. The resulting multiwavelength datasets will allow us to constrain the masses and ages of thousands of young stars, providing accurate measurements of the IMF and star formation rates (SFRs) in these clusters. Our proposed observations will lay the foundations for a multi-year research program to map the global distribution of star formation in the Galaxy and make a new determination of the Galactic SFR.


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