The VMC Survey. XXII. Hierarchical star formation in the 30 Doradus-N158-N159-N160 star-forming Complex

Ning-Chen Sun, Richard De Grijs, Smitha Subramanian, Maria-Rosa L. Cioni, Stefano Rubele, Kenji Bekki, Valentin D. Ivanov, Andrés E. Piatti, Vincenzo Ripepi

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13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the hierarchical stellar structures in a ∼1.5 deg2 area covering the 30 Doradus-N158-N159-N160 star-forming complex with the VISTA Survey of Magellanic Clouds. Based on the young upper main-sequence stars, we find that the surface densities cover a wide range of values, from log(Σ•pc2) ≲ -2.0 to log(Σ•pc2) ≳ 0.0. Their distributions are highly non-uniform, showing groups that frequently have subgroups inside. The sizes of the stellar groups do not exhibit characteristic values, and range continuously from several parsecs to more than 100 pc; the cumulative size distribution can be well described by a single power law, with the power-law index indicating a projected fractal dimension D2 = 1.6 ± 0.3. We suggest that the phenomena revealed here support a scenario of hierarchical star formation. Comparisons with other star-forming regions and galaxies are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume835
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • infrared: stars
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • stars: formation

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