The Origin of a Distributed Stellar Population in the Star-forming Region W4

Beomdu Lim, Jongsuk Hong, Hyeong Sik Yun, Narae Hwang, Jinyoung S. Kim, Jeong Eun Lee, Byeong Gon Park, Sunkyung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Stellar kinematics provides the key to understanding the formation process and dynamical evolution of stellar systems. Here, we present a kinematic study of the massive star-forming region (SFR) W4 in the Cassiopeia OB6 association using the Gaia Data Release 2 and high-resolution optical spectra. This SFR is composed of a core cluster (IC 1805) and a stellar population distributed over 20 pc, which is a typical structural feature found in many OB associations. According to a classical model, this structural feature can be understood in the context of the dynamical evolution of a star cluster. The core-extended structure exhibits internally different kinematic properties. Stars in the core have an almost isotropic motion, and they appear to reach virial equilibrium given their velocity dispersion (0.9 ± 0.3 km s-1) comparable to that in a virial state (∼0.8 km s-1). On the other hand, the distributed population shows a clear pattern of radial expansion. From the N-body simulation for the dynamical evolution of a model cluster in subvirial state, we reproduce the observed structure and kinematics of stars. This model cluster experiences collapse for the first 2 Myr. Some members begin to radially escape from the cluster after the initial collapse, eventually forming a distributed population. The internal structure and kinematics of the model cluster appear similar to those of W4. Our results support the idea that the stellar population distributed over 20 pc in W4 originate from the dynamical evolution of IC 1805.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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