11 December 2008
11 December 2008
Speaker: Jill Knapp (Princeton University)
Title: Star Formation in the Taurus Dark Clouds
The Taurus dark cloud complex is located at a distance of about 140 pc and is almost devoid of massive star formation, making it a useful and important region for the study of low mass star formation and its dependence on, and effect on, the properties of the molecular clouds. The region is the object of an intense current observational campaign to measure the dust properties and distribution at optical and infrared wavelengths, to catalogue YSOs and Herbig-Haro objects at X-ray, optical and infrared wavelengths, and to map the atomic and molecular gas. The goals are to study star formation as a function of cloud location, young low-mass YSOs to below the hydrogen burning limit, the incidence of disks around YSOs, the driving sources of the HH outflows, and the sculpting of the clouds by the processes accompanying star formation. This talk will place particular emphasis on optical-wavelength results from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The SDSS Taurus data consist of a pair of short imaging stripes covering some 48 square degrees with about 10 square degrees of overlap, and 6400 spectra, mostly of reddened, low mass and pre-main-sequence stars. The results of several investigations using these data will be described, including observations of of new T Tau and Herbig Ae/Be stars: surveys of HH objects and possible fossil HH objects across the face of the cloud; the measurement of the distribution of diffuse ionized gas; and comparison with Spitzer results for pre-main-sequence stars.
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