The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud

Ning Chen Sun, Richard De Grijs, Maria Rosa L. Cioni, Stefano Rubele, Smitha Subramanian, Jacco Th Van Loon, Kenji Bekki, Cameron P.M. Bell, Valentin D. Ivanov, Marcella Marconi, Tatiana Muraveva, Joana M. Oliveira, Vincenzo Ripepi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In this paper we report a clustering analysis of upper main-sequence stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, using data from the VMC survey (the VISTA near-infrared YJK s survey of the Magellanic system). Young stellar structures are identified as surface overdensities on a range of significance levels. They are found to be organized in a hierarchical pattern, such that larger structures at lower significance levels contain smaller ones at higher significance levels. They have very irregular morphologies, with a perimeter-area dimension of 1.44 ± 0.02 for their projected boundaries. They have a power-law mass-size relation, power-law size/mass distributions, and a log-normal surface density distribution. We derive a projected fractal dimension of 1.48 ± 0.03 from the mass-size relation, or of 1.4 ± 0.1 from the size distribution, reflecting significant lumpiness of the young stellar structures. These properties are remarkably similar to those of a turbulent interstellar medium, supporting a scenario of hierarchical star formation regulated by supersonic turbulence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume858
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

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Magellanic clouds
stellar structure
star formation
turbulence
power law
main sequence stars
mass distribution
density distribution
fractals
near infrared
young
distribution

Cite this

Sun, N. C., De Grijs, R., Cioni, M. R. L., Rubele, S., Subramanian, S., Van Loon, J. T., ... Ripepi, V. (2018). The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Astrophysical Journal, 858(1), [31]. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aabc50
Sun, Ning Chen ; De Grijs, Richard ; Cioni, Maria Rosa L. ; Rubele, Stefano ; Subramanian, Smitha ; Van Loon, Jacco Th ; Bekki, Kenji ; Bell, Cameron P.M. ; Ivanov, Valentin D. ; Marconi, Marcella ; Muraveva, Tatiana ; Oliveira, Joana M. ; Ripepi, Vincenzo. / The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2018 ; Vol. 858, No. 1.
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Sun, NC, De Grijs, R, Cioni, MRL, Rubele, S, Subramanian, S, Van Loon, JT, Bekki, K, Bell, CPM, Ivanov, VD, Marconi, M, Muraveva, T, Oliveira, JM & Ripepi, V 2018, 'The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud' Astrophysical Journal, vol. 858, no. 1, 31. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aabc50

The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud. / Sun, Ning Chen; De Grijs, Richard; Cioni, Maria Rosa L.; Rubele, Stefano; Subramanian, Smitha; Van Loon, Jacco Th; Bekki, Kenji; Bell, Cameron P.M.; Ivanov, Valentin D.; Marconi, Marcella; Muraveva, Tatiana; Oliveira, Joana M.; Ripepi, Vincenzo.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 858, No. 1, 31, 01.05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The VMC Survey. XXIX. Turbulence-controlled Hierarchical Star Formation in the Small Magellanic Cloud

AU - Sun, Ning Chen

AU - De Grijs, Richard

AU - Cioni, Maria Rosa L.

AU - Rubele, Stefano

AU - Subramanian, Smitha

AU - Van Loon, Jacco Th

AU - Bekki, Kenji

AU - Bell, Cameron P.M.

AU - Ivanov, Valentin D.

AU - Marconi, Marcella

AU - Muraveva, Tatiana

AU - Oliveira, Joana M.

AU - Ripepi, Vincenzo

PY - 2018/5/1

Y1 - 2018/5/1

N2 - In this paper we report a clustering analysis of upper main-sequence stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, using data from the VMC survey (the VISTA near-infrared YJK s survey of the Magellanic system). Young stellar structures are identified as surface overdensities on a range of significance levels. They are found to be organized in a hierarchical pattern, such that larger structures at lower significance levels contain smaller ones at higher significance levels. They have very irregular morphologies, with a perimeter-area dimension of 1.44 ± 0.02 for their projected boundaries. They have a power-law mass-size relation, power-law size/mass distributions, and a log-normal surface density distribution. We derive a projected fractal dimension of 1.48 ± 0.03 from the mass-size relation, or of 1.4 ± 0.1 from the size distribution, reflecting significant lumpiness of the young stellar structures. These properties are remarkably similar to those of a turbulent interstellar medium, supporting a scenario of hierarchical star formation regulated by supersonic turbulence.

AB - In this paper we report a clustering analysis of upper main-sequence stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, using data from the VMC survey (the VISTA near-infrared YJK s survey of the Magellanic system). Young stellar structures are identified as surface overdensities on a range of significance levels. They are found to be organized in a hierarchical pattern, such that larger structures at lower significance levels contain smaller ones at higher significance levels. They have very irregular morphologies, with a perimeter-area dimension of 1.44 ± 0.02 for their projected boundaries. They have a power-law mass-size relation, power-law size/mass distributions, and a log-normal surface density distribution. We derive a projected fractal dimension of 1.48 ± 0.03 from the mass-size relation, or of 1.4 ± 0.1 from the size distribution, reflecting significant lumpiness of the young stellar structures. These properties are remarkably similar to those of a turbulent interstellar medium, supporting a scenario of hierarchical star formation regulated by supersonic turbulence.

KW - galaxies: star clusters: general

KW - infrared: stars

KW - Magellanic Clouds

KW - stars: formation

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U2 - 10.3847/1538-4357/aabc50

DO - 10.3847/1538-4357/aabc50

M3 - Article

VL - 858

JO - The Astrophysical Journal

JF - The Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

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ER -