NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0131

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Program Information for 2017A-0131


PI: Patrick M Hartigan, Rice U., hartigan@sparky.rice.edu
Address: Department of Space Physics and Astronomy, MS 108, 6100 South Main, Houston, TX, 77005-1892 USA

CoI: Andrea Isella, Rice U.
CoI: Turlough Downes, Dublin City University

Title: A Test of Triggering in Carina's Western Wall

Abstract: We propose to test whether or not winds and radiation from massive stars trigger new stars to form. A remarkable group of dense molecular cores recently discovered in the Carina Nebula with ALMA provides an ideal environment for this test. The cores lie along the photodissociation (PDR) interface defined by the radiation and winds from massive stars in a nearby cluster. If dynamical pressures from the radiation induced the cores to form, then the PDR must distort around each core. Alternatively, a smooth PDR interface in front of the cores implies that the cores already existed prior to the arrival of the PDR. Existing images of the PDR show a spectacular wall defined by H2 fluorescent radiation, but those images lack the spatial resolution needed to help interpret the ALMA images. The proposed Gemini AO observations will improve upon the spatial resolution of the existing H2 images by an order of magnitude, and will probe down to typical protostellar disk scales of ~ 100 AU over a large region of about a parsec. Images of a bright PDR with this resolution and spatial extent have never been taken before, and will open up a new way to detect small clumps that represent the first stages of stellar birth in molecular clouds.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  GEM-SQ/GSAOI -- 10hrs band 2 (GS-2017A-Q-47)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0131

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