The Gaia-ESO Survey: age spread in the star forming region NGC6530 from the HR diagram and gravity indicators

Prisinzano, L.; Damiani, F.; Kalari, V.; Jeffries, R.; Bonito, R.; Micela, G.; Wright, N. J.; Jackson, R. J.; Tognelli, E.; Guarcello, M. G.; Vink, J. S.; Klutsch, A.; Jiménez-Esteban, F. M.; Roccatagliata, V.; Tautvaišienė, G.; Gilmore, G.; Randich, S.; Alfaro, E. J.; Flaccomio, E.; Koposov, S.; Lanzafame, A.; Pancino, E.; Bergemann, M.; Carraro, G.; Franciosini, E.; Frasca, A.; Gonneau, A.; Hourihane, A.; Jofré, P.; Lewis, J.; Magrini, L.; Monaco, L.; Morbidelli, L.; Sacco, G. G.; Worley, C. C.; Zaggia, S.
eprint arXiv:1901.09589


In very young clusters, stellar age distribution is the empirical proof of the duration of star formation (SF) and of the physical mechanisms involved in the process. We derived accurate stellar ages for the cluster NGC6530, associated with the Lagoon Nebula to infer its SF history. We use the Gaia-ESO survey observations and Gaia DR2 data, to derive cluster membership and fundamental stellar parameters. We identified 652 confirmed and 9 probable members. The reddening inferred for members and non-members allows us to distinguish MS stars and giants, in agreement with the distances inferred from Gaia DR2 data. The foreground and background stars show a spatial pattern that traces the 3D structure of the nebular dust component. We derive stellar ages for 382 confirmed cluster members and we find that the gravity-sensitive gamma index distribution for M stars is correlated with stellar age. For all members with Teff<5500 K, the mean logarithmic age is 5.84 (units of years) with a dispersion of 0.36 dex. The age distribution of stars with accretion and/or disk (CTTSe) is similar to that of stars without accretion and without disk (WTTSp). We interpret this dispersion as evidence of a real age spread since the total uncertainties on age determinations, derived from Monte Carlo simulations, are significantly smaller than the observed spread. This conclusion is supported by the evidence of a decreasing of the gravity-sensitive gamma index as a function of stellar ages. The presence of the age spread is also supported by the spatial distribution and the kinematics of old and young members. In particular, members with accretion and/or disk, formed in the last 1 Myr, show evidence of subclustering around the cluster center, in the Hourglass Nebula and in the M8-E region, suggesting a possible triggering of star formation events by the O-type star ionization fronts.