Star formation and initial mass function studies in young star clusters

Jessy Jose*
Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciencES, Nainital 263 129, India

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This thesis presents results from the comprehensive multi wavelength observational analysis of three young clusters associated with Hii regions. The fundamental properties of each region such as radius, distance, reddening etc. are analyzed and their massive members are identified. We observed signatures of both clustered and distributed star formation (SF) in these regions. The K-band luminosity functions (KLFs) and initial mass functions (IMFs) of these regions are found to be consistent with each other and with the Salpeter IMF and are seen to be unaltered irrespective of their diverse environments. The candidate YSOs are identified, their mass, age, age spread, circumstellar disk fraction and SF history of each region are studied. The spatial distribution of the identified YSOs shows that there is a correlation between the locations where YSOs are forming and the locations of ionization fronts created by the massive stars. The three regions are found to be diverse in nature and each region is experiencing multiple epochs of SF at various locations within it during the last ~ 5 Myr. The newly formed stars are seen to be influenced by the presence of massive stars and the modes of triggering mechanism in each region is found to be different. The results suggest that the multiple epochs of SF and multiple modes of triggering mechanism are a common phenomena within young clusters.

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Keywords : stars: formation - stars: pre-main-sequence, luminosity function, mass function - infrared: ISM - HⅡ regions