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dc.contributor.authorDobbs, Clare
dc.contributor.authorPringle, J.E.
dc.contributor.authorNaylor, Tim
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-22T12:53:54Z
dc.date.issued2013
dc.description.abstractIn this Letter, we analyse the distributions of stellar ages in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in spiral arms, interarm spurs and at large galactic radii, where the spiral arms are relatively weak. We use the results of numerical simulations of galaxies, which follow the evolution of GMCs and include star particles where star formation events occur. We find that GMCs in spiral arms tend to have predominantly young (<10 Myr) stars. By contrast, clouds which are the remainders of spiral arm giant molecular asssociations that have been sheared into interarm GMCs contain fewer young (<10 Myr) stars and more ∼20 Myr stars. We also show that clouds which form in the absence of spiral arms, due to local gravitational and thermal instabilities, contain preferentially young stars. We propose that the age distributions of stars in GMCs will be a useful diagnostic to test different cloud evolution scenarios, the origin of spiral arms and the success of numerical models of galactic star formation. We discuss the implications of our results in the context of Galactic and extragalactic molecular clouds.en_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipCanada Research Chairs Programen_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)en_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipCanada Foundation for Innovationen_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipNova Scotia Research and Innovation Trusten_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipSaint Mary's University, Halifax, Canadaen_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipMonash Universityen_GB
dc.description.sponsorshipScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)en_GB
dc.identifier.citationVol. 437 (1), pp. L31 - L35en_GB
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/mnrasl/slt134
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10871/15252
dc.language.isoenen_GB
dc.publisherOxford University Press / Royal Astronomical Societyen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slt134en_GB
dc.subjectstars: formationen_GB
dc.subjectISM: cloudsen_GB
dc.subjectISM: evolutionen_GB
dc.subjectgalaxies: ISMen_GB
dc.titleThe dependence of stellar age distributions on giant molecular cloud environmenten_GB
dc.typeArticleen_GB
dc.date.available2014-07-22T12:53:54Z
dc.identifier.issn1745-3925
dc.descriptionCopyright © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Societyen_GB
dc.identifier.journalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Lettersen_GB


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