Young stars in Lupus: not as expected, not where expected

Dr. Fernando Comerón


Most studies of the stellar and substellar populations of star forming regions rely on the identification of the signatures of accretion, outflows, circumstellar dust, or activity characteristic of the early stages of stellar evolution. However, the decay of these observational signatures with time limits our ability to understand the complete star forming history of young aggregates, and to obtain unbiased samples of young stellar objects at different stages of disk evolution. I will present the results of a wide-area study of the stellar population of selected clouds in the nearby Lupus star forming region, initially defined to complement the data obtained by the Spitzer Space Observatory Legacy Program “From molecular cores to planet-forming disks”. When combined with 2MASS photometry, our data allow us to fit the spectral energy distributions of well over 150,000 sources seen in that direction, and to identify possible new members based on their photospheric fluxes alone, with independence of the display of signposts of youth. In this way we identify a very clear signature of the existence of a surprisingly numerous and thus far unrecognized population of cool members of Lupus 1 and 3, which is absent from Lupus 4.
The approximately 130 new members that we identify show that Lupus 1 and 3 have been forming low mass stars in numbers comparable to, or even exceeding in Lupus 1, those revealed by recent sensitive surveys based on the signposts of youth. We hypothesize on several possibilities for the origin of this population that may account for its puzzling properties of general lack of disks, coevality with the disk-bearing population, and preferential off-cloud location, which hint at a picture more complex and interesting than the quiescent formation inside dense molecular clouds.

About the talk

Young stars in Lupus: not as expected, not where expected
Dr. Fernando Comerón
European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany
Thursday March 19, 2009 - 0:00 GMT  (Aula)
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