NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0064

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0064


PI: John Bally, University of Colorado, bally@casa.colorado.edu
Address: Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, UCB 389, Boulder, CO 80309, USA

CoI: Ralph Shuping, UCLA
CoI: Mark Morris, UCLA
CoI: Nathan Smith, University of Colorado

Title: Massive Star Formation in Orion: Direct Accretion or Cannibalism?

Abstract: Do massive stars form by direct accretion from the parent cloud or by mergers of protostars? To address this question, we propose TReCS imaging of the nearest sites of on-going massive star formation near the Sun -- the OMC1, OMC1S, and OMC2 cloud cores in the Orion A molecular cloud. Additionally, we will observe the immediate vicinity of the recently-formed Trapezium stars. Our observations will constrain formation models by measuring the space density and colors of low mass protostars in the vicinity of the forming massive stars, and by probing the properties of embedded disks, protostellar envelopes, and dust morphology. Thermal-IR imaging is essential to survey the protostellar content of these highly obscured regions. TReCS on Gemini South will provide more than an order of magnitude improvement in sensitivty, and more than a factor of two improvement in spatial resolution, over previous observations.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0064

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