What the spatial distribution of stars can tell us about star formation, clusters and the IMF
Leonardo Testi, Nate Bastian, Steven Longmore, John Bally, Adam Ginsburg, Cara Battersby, Joao Alves, Lori Allen, Chris Evans
We present several recent studies on the clustering properties of prestellar cores, young stellar objects (YSO) and massive stars. First, we discuss the spatial distribution of prestellar cores and YSOs using Herschel and Spitzer surveys. The results have shown that not all stars form in clusters and that the spatial distribution of prestellar cores and YSOs trace the molecular filaments.
With the Herschel Gould Belt Survey we show the correlation between the prestellar core and YSO distribution in several star forming regions and the functional relationship between the prestellar cores and their surrounding gas densities, which could lead to a better understanding on how star formation is initiated.
Do massive stars only form in large clusters or can they form in isolation? We use the VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey to search for massive stars and report 16 candidates that could have formed in isolation. This result impacts the IMF and star formation models at the Galactic and extra-galactic scales.