Volume 647, March 2021
|Number of page(s)||35|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||12 March 2021|
3D dynamics of the Orion cloud complex⋆
Discovery of coherent radial gas motions at the 100-pc scale
University of Vienna, Department of Astrophysics, Türkenschanzstraße 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
2 University of Vienna, Data Science at Uni Vienna Research Platform, Wien, Austria
Accepted: 17 November 2020
We present the first study of the three-dimensional (3D) dynamics of the gas in the entire southern Orion cloud complex. We used the parallaxes and proper motions of young stellar objects (YSOs) from Gaia DR2 as a proxy for gas distance and proper motion, and the gas radial velocities from archival CO data, to compute the space motions of the different star-forming clouds in the complex, including subregions in Orion A, Orion B, and two outlying cometary clouds. From the analysis of the clouds’ orbits in space and time, we find that they were closest about 6 Myr ago and are moving radially away from roughly the same region in space. This coherent 100-pc scale radial motion supports a scenario where the entire complex is reacting to a major feedback event, which we name the Orion-BB (big blast) event. This event, which we tentatively associate with the recently discovered Orion X stellar population, shaped the distribution and kinematics of the gas we observe today, although it is unlikely to have been the sole major feedback event in the region. We argue that the dynamics of most of the YSOs carry the memory of the feedback-driven star formation history in Orion and that the majority of the young stars in this complex are a product of large-scale triggering, which can raise the star formation rate by at least an order of magnitude, as for the head of Orion A (the Integral Shape Filament). Our results imply that a feedback, compression, and triggering process lies at the genesis of the Orion Nebula Cluster and NGC 2023/2024 in Orion B, thus confirming broadly the classical feedback-driven scenario proposed in Elmegreen & Lada (1977, ApJ, 214, 725). The space motions of the well-known young compact clusters, σ Orionis and NGC 1977, are consistent with this scenario. A momentum estimate suggests that the energy of a few to several supernovae is needed to power the coherent 3D gas motion we measure in this paper.
Key words: methods: data analysis / parallaxes / proper motions / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / stars: formation / radio lines: ISM
3D version of Fig. 10 and movies associated to Figs. 7–9 and B.1 are available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2021
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