MUNA Lunch Talk:

Rob Gutermuth

Smith College / UMass Amherst

A Star and Gas Surface Density Correlation within Nearby Molecular Clouds

November 8

12:10PM, Note unusual location: CV-Auditorium


I will present recent results from an analysis of stellar and gas surface densities at ~1 pc scales for eight nearby star-forming molecular clouds, derived from Spitzer young stellar object surveys and near-IR extinction mapping. In general, we find a positive power law correlation of index 2, but there is considerable variation in the quality of the trend among clouds. Spread in the correlation is attributed to local star-gas evolution, primarily in sites of local gas disruption by stars that formed there. This naturally leads us to ponder what a "near-pristine" star-forming region might look like, before formed stars strongly influence its structure. Discovered as part of the Gould Belt Spitzer Legacy Survey, Serpens South is one such region; most of the known stellar members are extremely young protostars and no obvious high luminosity source has affected the dense gas structure. I will show some initial structural analysis of both the Spitzer-identified stellar distribution and a new 1mm continuum map of Serpens South from AzTEC on the ASTE telescope.