IN-SYNC. V. Stellar Kinematics and Dynamics in the Orion A Molecular Cloud

Nicola Da Rio, Jonathan C. Tan, Kevin R. Covey, Michiel Cottaar, Jonathan B. Foster, Nicholas C. Cullen, John Tobin, Jinyoung S. Kim, Michael R. Meyer, David L. Nidever, Keivan G. Stassun, S. Drew Chojnowski, Kevin M. Flaherty, Steven R. Majewski, Michael F. Skrutskie, Gail Zasowski, Kaike Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The kinematics and dynamics of young stellar populations enable us to test theories of star formation. With this aim, we continue our analysis of the SDSS-III/APOGEE IN-SYNC survey, a high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopic survey of young clusters. We focus on the Orion A star-forming region, for which IN-SYNC obtained spectra of ∼2700 stars. In Paper IV we used these data to study the young stellar population. Here we study the kinematic properties through radial velocities (vr). The young stellar population remains kinematically associated with the molecular gas, following a ∼ 10 km-1gradient along the filament. However, near the center of the region, the vr distribution is slightly blueshifted and asymmetric; we suggest that this population, which is older, is slightly in the foreground. We find evidence for kinematic subclustering, detecting statistically significant groupings of colocated stars with coherent motions. These are mostly in the lower-density regions of the cloud, while the ONC radial velocities are smoothly distributed, consistent with it being an older, more dynamically evolved cluster. The velocity dispersion varies along the filament. The ONC appears virialized, or just slightly supervirial, consistent with an old dynamical age. Here there is also some evidence for ongoing expansion, from a vr-extinction correlation. In the southern filament, σv is ∼2-3 times larger than virial in the L1641N region, where we infer a superposition along the line of sight of stellar subpopulations, detached from the gas. In contrast, σv decreases toward L1641S, where the population is again in agreement with a virial state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2017


  • open clusters and associations: individual (Orion Nebula Cluster, L1641)
  • stars: formation
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics
  • stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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