EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 480, Number 3, March IV 2008
Page(s) 735 - 751
Section Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077720
Published online 09 January 2008

A&A 480, 735-751 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077720

On the kinematic evolution of young local associations and the Scorpius-Centaurus complex

D. Fernández1, 2, F. Figueras1, and J. Torra1

1  Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, IEEC-Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 647, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
    e-mail: david.fernandez@am.ub.es
2  Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec, Consorci del Montsec, Plaça Major 1, 25691 Àger (Lleida), Spain

(Received 25 April 2007 / Accepted 13 December 2007)

Context.Over the last decade, several groups of young (mainly low-mass) stars have been discovered in the solar neighbourhood (closer than ~100 pc), thanks to cross-correlation between X-ray, optical spectroscopy and kinematic data. These young local associations - including an important fraction whose members are Hipparcos stars - offer insights into the star formation process in low-density environments, shed light on the substellar domain, and could have played an important role in the recent history of the local interstellar medium.
Aims.To study the kinematic evolution of young local associations and their relation to other young stellar groups and structures in the local interstellar medium, thus casting new light on recent star formation processes in the solar neighbourhood.
Methods.We compiled the data published in the literature for young local associations. Using a realistic Galactic potential we integrated the orbits for these associations and the Sco-Cen complex back in time.
Results.Combining these data with the spatial structure of the Local Bubble and the spiral structure of the Galaxy, we propose a recent history of star formation in the solar neighbourhood. We suggest that both the Sco-Cen complex and young local associations originated as a result of the impact of the inner spiral arm shock wave against a giant molecular cloud. The core of the giant molecular cloud formed the Sco-Cen complex, and some small cloudlets in a halo around the giant molecular cloud formed young local associations several million years later. We also propose a supernova in young local associations a few million years ago as the most likely candidate to have reheated the Local Bubble to its present temperature.

Key words: Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics -- Galaxy: solar neighborhood -- Galaxy: open clusters and associations: general -- stars: kinematics -- stars: formation -- ISM: individual objects: Local Bubble

© ESO 2008