A wide-field Herschel far-infrared survey of the Carina Nebula Complex

We used the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory to map a 2.3 x 2.3 square-degree (90 x 90 pc^2) region, covering the entire extent of the Carina Nebula complex with the instruments PACS and SPIRE at the wavelengths of 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 micrometer. The Herschel data show the far-infrared morphology of the clouds at unprecedented high angular resolution allow us a comprehensive and detailed characterization of the dust and gas clouds in the Carina Nebula complex. The structure of these clouds is a very complex and filamentary, and seems to be dominated by the radiation and wind feedback from the massive stars.

An overview of the first scientific results and and analysis of the global cloud structure in the complex is given in Preibisch et al. 2012. We find that in most locations, the column density of the clouds is N(H) < 2 x 10^22 cm^-2, corresponding to visual extinctions of A_V <= 10 mag; denser cloud structures are restricted to the massive cloud west of the stellar cluster Tr 14 and the innermost parts of large pillars. Our temperature map shows a clear large scale gradient from ~ 35 K in the central region to <~ 20 K at the periphery and in the densest parts of individual pillars. The total mass of the clouds seen by Herschel in the central (1 degree radius) region is ~ 656000 Msun. A simple radiative transfer model of the global spectral energy distribution in the mid-infrared to mm wavelength range suggests that the total mass of all the gas (including a warmer component that is not well traced by Herschel) in the central 1 degree radius region is ~ 890000 Msun.

These observations are part of our Carina Multiwavelength Project.
The main scientific results from this Herschel observation are published in these three papers:
Further papers containing results based on these Herschel data can be found in the list at the end of this page.

The image below shows a three-color composite of our Herschel 70 micron (blue) 160 micron (green) and 250 micron (red) images that was created for the recent ESA image release.


In the image below we compare optical and infrared views of the Carina Nebula. The upper left panel is the optical image obtained from the ESO Photo Release 1145 (ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2, Davide De Martin). The upper right panel shows the 5.8 mircon image constructed by us from Spitzer data obtained from the public archive. The lower panel shows our 70 micron (left) and 500 micron (right) Herschel images.


The next figure shows a RGB composite of the red optical (DSS) image in blue, our Herschel 70 micron image in green, and our Herschel 160 micron image in red. The field of view is 2.9 deg x 2.6 deg, north is up and east to the left. The green plus signs mark the positions of the high-mass stellar members of the Carina Nebula as listed in Smith 2006.


The image below shows an RGB composite of the central region (1.40 deg x 1.43 deg; north is up and east to the left) constructed from our Herschel 70 (blue), 160 (green) and 350 mircon (red) maps.

New results will continuously be added as they become available.

In the Carina multi-wavelength project the Young Stars and Star Formation Group at Munich Observatory is observing the Carina Nebula in a wide range of different wavelengths, from X-rays to the radio regime.

Publications related to this project

Connecting the dots: a correlation between ionizing radiation and cloud mass-loss rate traced by optical integral field spectroscopy,
A. F. McLeod, M. Grittschneder, J.E. Dale, A. Ginsburg, P.D. Klaassen, J.C. Mottram, Th. Preibisch, S. Ramsay, M. Reiter, L. Testi, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 462, 3537 (2016)

The VISTA Carina Nebula Survey II. Spatial distribution of the infrared-excess-selected young stellar population,
P. Zeidler, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, V. Roccatagliata, M.G. Petr-Gotzens, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 585, A49 (2016) PDF

The VISTA Carina Nebula Survey I: Introduction and source catalog,
Th. Preibisch, P. Zeidler, Th. Ratzka, V. Roccatagliata, M.G. Petr-Gotzens Astronomy & Astrophysics, 572, A116 (2014) preprint

Chandra X-ray observation of the HII region Gum 31 in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, M. Mehlhorn, L. Townsley, P. Broos, Th. Ratzka, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 564, A120 (2014) preprint

The mysterious Sickle Object in the Carina Nebula: A stellar wind induced bow shock grazing a clump?,
J. Ngoumou, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, A. Burkert, Astrophysical Journal, 769, 139 (2013) preprint

Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula Complex III: Detailed cloud structure and feedback effects,
V. Roccatagliata, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, B. Gaczkowski, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 554, A6 (2013) preprint

Discovering young stars in the Gum 31 region with infrared observations,
H. Ohlendorf, Th. Preibisch, B. Gaczkowski, Th. Ratzka, J. Ngoumou, V. Roccatagliata, R. Grellmann, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 552, A14 (2013) preprint

The Clump Mass Function of the Dense Clouds in the Carina Nebula Complex,
S. Pekruhl, Th. Preibisch, F. Schuller, K. Menten, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 550, A29 (2013) preprint

Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula complex II: The embedded young stellar and protostellar population,
B. Gaczkowski, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, V. Roccatagliata, H. Ohlendorf, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 549, A67 (2013) preprint

Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula complex: Introduction and global cloud structure,
Th. Preibisch, V. Roccatagliata, B. Gaczkowski, T. Ratzka, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 541, A132 (2012) preprint

Jet-driving protostars identified from infrared observations of the Carina nebula complex,
H. Ohlendorf, Th. Preibisch, B. Gaczkowski, Th. Ratzka, R. Grellmann, A. F. McLeod, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 540, A81 (2012) preprint

Detection of a large massive circumstellar disk around a high-mass young stellar object in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, T. Ratzka, T. Gehring, H. Ohlendorf, H. Zinnecker, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, J.R. Lewis, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 530, A40 (2011) preprint

Deep wide-field near-infrared survey of the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, T. Ratzka, B. Kuderna, H. Ohlendorf, R.R. King, S. Hodgkin, M. Irwin, J.R. Lewis, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 530, A34 (2011) preprint

Near-Infrared properties of the X-ray emitting young stellar objects in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, S. Hodgkin, M. Irwin, J.R. Lewis, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, L. Townsley, P. Broos, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 10 (2011) preprint

An Introduction to the Chandra Carina Complex Project,
L. Townsley, P. Broos, M.F. Corcoran, and further 30 co-authors including Th. Preibisch, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 1(2011) preprint

The Chandra Carina Complex Project View of Trumpler 16,
S.J. Wolk, P. Broos, K.V. Getman, E.D. Feigelson, Th. Preibisch, L. Townsley, J. Wang, K.G. Stassun, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, A.F.J. Moffat, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 12 (2011) preprint

A Chandra ACIS Study of the Young Star Cluster Trumpler 15 in Carina and Correlation with Near-Infrared Sources,
J. Wang, E.D. Feigelson, L. Townsley, P. Broos, K.V. Getman, S.J. Wolk, Th. Preibisch, K.G. Stassun, A.F.J. Moffat, G. Garmire, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 11 (2011) preprint

A Catalog of Chandra X-ray Sources in the Carina Nebula,
P. Broos, L. Townsley, E.D. Feigelson, K.V. Getman, G. Garmire, Th. Preibisch, N. Smith, B.L. Babler, S. Hodgkin, R. Indebetouw, M. Irwin, R.R. King, J. Lewis, S.R. Majewski, M.J. McCaughrean, M.R. Maede, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 2 (2011) preprint

X-ray Star Clusters in the Carina Complex,
E.D. Feigelson, K.V. Getman, L. Townsley, P. Broos, M.S. Povich, G. Garmire, R.R. King, T. Montmerle, Th. Preibisch, N. Smith, K.G. Stassun, J. Wang, S. Wolk, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 9 (2011) preprint

A deep wide-field sub-mm survey of the Carina Nebula complex,
Th. Preibisch, F. Schuller, H. Ohlendorf, S. Pekruhl, K.M. Menten, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 525, A92 (2011) preprint

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Last update: 22 May 2014