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Journal Articles The Astrophysical journal letters Year : 2023

PHANGS-JWST First Results: Duration of the Early Phase of Massive Star Formation in NGC 628

Jaeyeon Kim
  • Function : Author
Mélanie Chevance
  • Function : Author
J. M. Diederik Kruijssen
  • Function : Author
Ashley. T. Barnes
  • Function : Author
Frank Bigiel
  • Function : Author
Guillermo A. Blanc
  • Function : Author
Médéric Boquien
  • Function : Author
Yixian Cao
  • Function : Author
Enrico Congiu
  • Function : Author
Daniel A. Dale
  • Function : Author
Oleg V. Egorov
  • Function : Author
Christopher M. Faesi
  • Function : Author
Simon C. O. Glover
  • Function : Author
Kathryn Grasha
  • Function : Author
Brent Groves
  • Function : Author
Hamid Hassani
  • Function : Author
Ralf S. Klessen
  • Function : Author
Kathryn Kreckel
  • Function : Author
Kirsten L. Larson
  • Function : Author
Janice C. Lee
  • Function : Author
Adam K. Leroy
  • Function : Author
Daizhong Liu
  • Function : Author
Steven N. Longmore
  • Function : Author
Sharon E. Meidt
  • Function : Author
Hsi-An Pan
  • Function : Author
Miguel Querejeta
  • Function : Author
Erik Rosolowsky
  • Function : Author
Toshiki Saito
  • Function : Author
Karin Sandstrom
  • Function : Author
Eva Schinnerer
  • Function : Author
Rowan J. Smith
  • Function : Author
Antonio Usero
  • Function : Author
Elizabeth J. Watkins
  • Function : Author
Thomas G. Williams
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The earliest stages of star formation, when young stars are still deeply embedded in their natal clouds, represent a critical phase in the matter cycle between gas clouds and young stellar regions. Until now, the high-resolution infrared observations required for characterizing this heavily obscured phase (during which massive stars have formed, but optical emission is not detected) could only be obtained for a handful of the most nearby galaxies. One of the main hurdles has been the limited angular resolution of the Spitzer Space Telescope. With the revolutionary capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), it is now possible to investigate the matter cycle during the earliest phases of star formation as a function of the galactic environment. In this Letter, we demonstrate this by measuring the duration of the embedded phase of star formation and the implied time over which molecular clouds remain inert in the galaxy NGC 628 at a distance of 9.8 Mpc, demonstrating that the cosmic volume where this measurement can be made has increased by a factor of >100 compared to Spitzer. We show that young massive stars remain embedded for ${5.1}_{-1.4}^{+2.7}$ Myr ( ${2.3}_{-1.4}^{+2.7}$ Myr of which being heavily obscured), representing ~20% of the total cloud lifetime. These values are in broad agreement with previous measurements in five nearby (D < 3.5 Mpc) galaxies and constitute a proof of concept for the systematic characterization of the early phase of star formation across the nearby galaxy population with the PHANGS-JWST survey.
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Dates and versions

insu-04473223 , version 1 (22-02-2024)

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Jaeyeon Kim, Mélanie Chevance, J. M. Diederik Kruijssen, Ashley. T. Barnes, Frank Bigiel, et al.. PHANGS-JWST First Results: Duration of the Early Phase of Massive Star Formation in NGC 628. The Astrophysical journal letters, 2023, 944, ⟨10.3847/2041-8213/aca90a⟩. ⟨insu-04473223⟩
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