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A Gaia and Herschel Study of the Density Distribution and Evolution of Young Massive Star Clusters

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - StarFormMapper (A Gaia and Herschel Study of the Density Distribution and Evolution of Young Massive Star Clusters)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-08-31

The key aim of this proposal is to combine data from two of ESA's major space missions, Gaia and Herschel, together with ground based facilities, to constrain the mechanisms that underlie massive star and star cluster formation. Collectively, these facilities represent a considerable fraction of the total investment by Europe in astronomy. Taken separately, however, these missions give an incomplete picture but their combination will cover all stages from the formation of molecular cores, through the formation of stars, to the dispersal of the gas in young clusters. We will require new techniques in order to extract the full scientific value from this combination. We will develop new automated statistical techniques and common user tools that will provide a community wide benefit. Our scientific results will underpin the study of how all galaxies evolve.
"Largely the work in this period continued with the development of new methods for analysing how objects (in this case stars or clumps of dust/gas) tend to ""cluster"" together. These have been applied to both the older Gaia Data Realse 1, but also to the full Data Release 2 more recently. In addition, we have continued to focus on the creation of ""merged"" catalogues of stars for star forming regions, to combine the maximum possible information for these objects so that we can make a fuller study of how the observed ""clustering"" depends on the youth of the source. Of particular note are the studies of the Taurus star forming region being led by Joncour, where applications of the statistical tool DBSCAN has led to new insights.

The second Gaia Data Release (DR2) was made in April 2018. Unlike the earlier DR1, this release contains parallaxes and proper motions in its astrometric data for may stars in the galaxy, so that we can (where
feasible) define both the distance and the motion of the star across the plane of the sky. Iniital work using this new catalogue has largely centred on testing the best ""cuts"" of the astrometric properties to use.

We have also continued with our work on the nearby star clusters NGC 2264, Taurus and Serpens. These have a wide variety of available additional data, including full Herschel data.

The servers at Quasar SR have also continued to see development of a hosting environment in which the software packages will sit. This is now largely complete, and testing is underway with actual code examples. This provides a software framework that will have life beyond the project.

In addition, the suite of required simulations which constrain the physical mechanisms that give rise to the patterns we see in the real data are largely complete, and will soon be publically released.

Work from the project has now been widely disseminated in the literature, at workshops and conferences, and to the general public. Our outreach activities in particular have ramped up during period 2, with public talks, and new ""demonstrations"" available that have already been seen by hundreds of people.

The final reporting period will see greater emphasis on merging the results we already have from Gaia with those from Herschel, the final culmination of our project."
This reporting period has seen the full testing of the new statistical routines designed to characterise structure. These potentially have applications beyond astronomy. The method of embedding these tools into server side software at Quasar SR also has great potential. The simulations produced for the project are now essentially complete. and present a suite of which any one would be state of the art but where care is taken to ensure a consistency between the various modelling techniques (eg MHD, N-body+gas, N-body stellar only) that is novel. The wider socio-economic impact will only become clearer as the project evolves, since much of the final scientific dissemination (and IPR if any) will follow on in the final reporting period.