The Young Stellar Population of the Cygnus-X DR15 Region

Rivera-Gálvez, S.; Román-Zúñiga, C. G.; Jiménez-Bailón, E.; Ybarra, J. E.; Alves, J. F.; Lada, Elizabeth A.
The Astronomical Journal, Volume 150, Issue 6, article id. 191, 19 pp. (2015).


We present a multi-wavelength study of the young stellar population in the Cygnus-X DR15 region. We studied young stars that were forming or recently formed at and around the tip of a prominent molecular pillar and an infrared dark cloud. Using a combination of ground-based near-infrared, space-based infrared, and X-ray data, we constructed a point source catalog from which we identified 226 young stellar sources, which we classified into evolutionary classes. We studied their spatial distributions across the molecular gas structures and identified several groups that possibly belong to distinct young star clusters. We obtained samples of these groups and constructed K-band luminosity functions that we compared with those of artificial clusters, allowing us to make first order estimates of the mean ages and age spreads of the groups. We used a 13CO(1-0) map to investigate the gas kinematics at the prominent gaseous envelope of the central cluster in DR15, and we inferred that the removal of this envelope is relatively slow compared to other cluster regions, in which the gas dispersal timescale could be similar or shorter than the circumstellar disk dissipation timescale. The presence of other groups with slightly older ages, associated with much less prominent gaseous structures, may imply that the evolution of young clusters in this part of the complex proceeds in periods that last 3–5 Myr, perhaps after a slow dissipation of their dense molecular cloud birthplaces.