Recent star formation in the Lupus clouds as seen by Herschel

Rygl, K. L. J.; Benedettini, M.; Schisano, E.; Elia, D.; Molinari, S.; Pezzuto, S.; André, Ph.; Bernard, J. P.; White, G. J.; Polychroni, D.; Bontemps, S.; Cox, N. L. J.; Di Francesco, J.; Facchini, A.; Fallscheer, C.; di Giorgio, A. M.; Hennemann, M.; Hill, T.; Könyves, V.; Minier, V.; Motte, F.; Nguyen-Luong, Q.; Peretto, N.; Pestalozzi, M.; Sadavoy, S.; Schneider, N.; Spinoglio, L.; Testi, L. and Ward-Thompson, D. (2013). Recent star formation in the Lupus clouds as seen by Herschel. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 549, article no. L1.



We present a study of the star formation histories of the Lupus I, III, and IV clouds using the Herschel 70–500 μm maps obtained by the Herschel Gould Belt Survey Key Project. By combining the new Herschel data with the existing Spitzer catalog we obtained an unprecedented census of prestellar sources and young stellar objects in the Lupus clouds, which allowed us to study the overall star formation rate (SFR) and efficiency (SFE). The high SFE of Lupus III, its decreasing SFR, and its large number of pre-main sequence stars with respect to proto- and prestellar sources, suggest that Lupus III is the most evolved cloud, and after having experienced a major star formation event in the past, is now approaching the end of its current star-forming cycle. Lupus I is currently undergoing a large star formation event, apparent by the increasing SFR, the large number of prestellar objects with respect to more evolved objects, and the high percentage of material at high extinction (e.g., above AV ≈ 8   mag). Also Lupus IV has an increasing SFR; however, the relative number of prestellar sources is much lower, suggesting that its star formation has not yet reached its peak.

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