Triggered Star Formation in the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association (Sco OB2)

Thomas Preibisch & Hans Zinnecker

invited talk at the Third "Three-Islands" Euroconference: "From Darkness to Light: Origin and Early Evolution of Young Stellar Clusters", eds. T. Montmerle & Ph. Andre, ASP Conference Series 243, p. 791-799 (2000)


We explore the star formation history of the Upper Scorpius OB association, the youngest part of Sco OB2. A wide field (160 square-degree) survey for low-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) stars enabled us to increase the number of known low-mass members of Upper Scorpius to nearly 100 stars. In a detailed analysis of the locations of these stars in the HR diagram, taking proper account of the uncertainties and the effects of unresolved binaries, we find a mean stellar age of about 5 Myr and no evidence for a significant age dispersion among these stars. This implies that the star formation history of the Upper Scorpius association was dominated by a short star-burst, which started about 5 Myr ago and ended probably not more than one or two Myr later. Interestingly, the structure and kinematics of the HI shells surrounding the Sco OB2 association show that the shock wave of a supernova explosion in the nearby Upper Centaurus-Lupus association, the oldest part of Sco OB2, crossed Upper Scorpius just about 5 Myr ago. This strongly suggests that this supernova shock wave triggered the star-burst in Upper Scorpius.

To get a preprint of this paper click here

For further information see our paper published in the Astronomical Journal, 117, 2381, (1999)

Retrieve the compressed Postscript file for a preprint or for the original paper

and also the previous paper the survey for young stars in Upper Scorpius.

Some nice images of the Upper Scorpius association can be found here .

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