NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0183

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0183


PI: You-Hua Chu, University of Illinois, yhchu@illinois.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 1002 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, United States

CoI: Robert Gruendl, University of Illinois
CoI: C.H. Rosie Chen, University of Virginia
CoI: Dimitrios Gouliermis, MPIA-Heidelberg
CoI: Annie Hughes, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Hsu-Tai Lee, ASIAA
CoI: Leslie Looney, University of Illinois
CoI: T. Megeath, University of Toledo
CoI: Eric Muller, University of Nagoya
CoI: Ron Probst, NOAO
CoI: Tony Wong, University of Illinois

Title: Exploring Low-Mass Star Formation in Giant Molecular Clouds in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Abstract: \vspace-15pt Star formation is fundamental to the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. Giant molecular clouds (GMCs) are the actual sites where most star formation occurs. Thus, the formation and dispersal of GMCs and the star formation process in GMCs have attracted great interest. \vspace-5pt The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) provides an ideal laboratory to study star formation in GMCs to their full extent. While a GMC dispersal timescale of 30 Myr has been deduced from the star formation activity in the LMC GMCs, this result is based on H(alpha) emission that is sensitive to only massive stars. Spitzer near- to mid- IR observations have been used to detect high- and intermediate-mass young stellar objects (YSOs) in the LMC, but incompleteness and confusion become a severe problem for YSOs with masses below ~8 M_\odot. As a consequence, the formation of stars in the low- mass regime in the LMC has been largely unexplored. \vspace-5pt We request NEWFIRM JHK observations of 10 fields containing ~30 GMCs in the LMC to search for pre-main sequence stars with masses down to ~2 M_\odot, in order to investigate whether GMCs with different types of massive star formation show differences in their lower-mass star formation, and how GMC properties relate to the star formation process.


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