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Paper: From Cloud to Cluster: A Tale of Orion
Volume: 356, Revealing the Molecular Universe: One Antenna Is Never Enough
Page: 169
Authors: Stahler, S.W.
Abstract: In collaboration with Eric Huff, I have examined the present-day stellar distribution and past history of the Orion Nebula Cluster, the most wellstudied region of star formation in the sky. At the present time, the stellar density is strongly peaked in the vicinity of the massive Trapezium stars. The gas cloud that spawned the cluster must have been similarly peaked in density just prior to its dispersal by the spreading HII region still seen today. I argue that the cloud attained this configuration through a long process of quasistatic contraction. This contraction was mediated by the dissipation of internal turbulence. Under the influence of self-gravity, such dissipation leads to an accelerating contraction. This acceleration is still evident in the determination of pre-main-sequence ages of today's cluster members.
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