PI: John Bally, University of Colorado, email@example.com
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.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360