Star Formation in the Outer Galaxy (SFOG)

Milky Way Galaxy There have been many observational studies of star formation using the Spitzer Space Telescope in regions in the solar neighborhood, and massive regions in the inner parts of the Galaxy. However, the outer Galaxy, which is intermediate in metallicity between the inner Galactic disk and the Magellanic Clouds, and at much lower volume densities, has not been as systematically studied. The extension of the Spitzer and Herschel Galactic surveys to the outer Galaxy, plus the WISE all-sky survey, has now made this possible. We are using techniques developed in studies of nearby star formation and massive regions such as Cygnus-X and W49 to locate young stellar objects in the outer Galaxy, and using model-fitting to determine their properties such as luminosity and mass, and studying their clustering properties. Comparing the results to star formation regions in other parts of the Galaxy will provide information on how dynamical processes and environmental factors can affect the mechanisms that influence the fragmentation of molecular clouds and star formation efficiency. The results will have applications to the study of star formation in other galaxies, where global properties can be observed but we cannot resolve individual clusters or stars in the infrared. This study will provide a database of outer Galaxy star formation which can be used to select objects to follow up with JWST.

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This work was supported in part by NASA Grant NNX16AF37G
Last updated: Wednesday, 09-Dec-2020 11:26:29 EST