Status Report

Understanding our Origins: Star Formation in H II Region Environments

By SpaceRef Editor
August 22, 2005
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Astrophysics, abstract

From: Jeff Hester PhD [view email]
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 00:27:34 GMT (366kb)

Understanding our Origins: Star Formation in H II Region Environments

J. Jeff Hester,
Steven J. Desch (Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Arizona State University)

Comments: 25 pages, 10 figures. Refereed and accepted submission of an invited
presentation to the Proceedings from the Workshop on Chondrites and the
Protoplanetary Disk, Kaua’i Hawai’i, November 8-11, 2004. ASP conference
series, editors A. Krot, E. Scott, & B. Reipurth. Higher quality copy
available at this http URL

Recent analysis of the decay products of short-lived radiounclides (SLRs) in
meteorites, in particular the confirmation of the presence of live 60Fe in the
early Solar System, provides unambiguous evidence that the Sun and Solar System
formed near a massive star. We consider the question of the formation of
low-mass stars in environments near massive stars, presenting a scenario for
the evolution of a star and its disk around the periphery of an expanding H II
region. The stages in this scenario begin with compression of molecular gas
around the edge of an H II region, continue as forming stars are overrun by the
advancing ionization front, and culminate when ejecta from one or more nearby
supernova explosions sweeps over YSO disks located in the low density interior
of the H II region, injecting SLRs including 26Al and 60Fe. We review the
evidence that this mode of star formation is more characteristic of formation
of low-mass stars than is the mode of star formation seen in regions such as
the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud. We discuss the implications of this scenario
for our understanding of star formation, as well as the effects of the young
Sun’s astrophysical environment on the formation and evolution of the Solar
System. We conclude that low-mass stars and their accompanying disks form and
evolve very differently near massive stars than they do in regions like
Taurus-Auriga, and that these differences have profound implications for our
understanding of our origins.

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