Optical image of the Carina Nebula (ESO Images)

A panchromatic view of massive star feedback and triggered star formation in the Carina Nebula


Optical image of the central region (ESO Images)


This webpage presents some recent results of our deep multi-wavelength (X-ray / infrared / sub-mm) study of the Great Nebula in Carina. An article in which I described the background of this project is contained in the April 2013 issue of the Star Formation Newsletter.

The Carina Nebula contains some of the most massive and luminous stars in our Galaxy and is an ideal site to study in detail the physics of violent massive star formation and the resulting feedback effects, i.e. cloud dispersal and triggering of star formation. With a distance of 2.3 kpc, it constitutes our best bridge between nearby regions like Orion and the much more massive, but also more distant extragalactic starburst systems like 30 Doradus.

The Young Stars and Star Formation Group at Munich Observatory is performing observations of the Carina Nebula in a wide range of different wavelengths, from X-rays to the radio regime. Our combination of the X-ray data from the Chandra Carina Complex Project with our HAWKI near-infrared images reveal for the first time the full low-mass stellar population in the Carina Nebula and allow us to study the ages, mass function, and disk properties of the young stars. With LABOCA sub-mm observations we also probed the morphology of the cold dusty molecular clouds throughout the complex and studied the interaction between massive stars and clouds. A detailed comparison of these observational data to numerical radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of stellar feedback will show how the ionizing radiation and stellar winds disperse the clouds and trigger the formation of a new generation of stars.

As examples of the data we are using, we show below some of our X-ray, infrared, and sub-mm images of the Carina Nebula. Further information can be found by clicking on these images.

Chandra X-ray (blue/green) on MSX (red)


Chandra Carina Complex Project; Image size ~ 2 square-degrees

HAWKI Near-Infrared


Central region around Tr 14 (see this page and the ESO Photo Release 1208.)

Herschel 70 (blue) & 160 (green) & 250 (red) micron


~ 1 x 1 square-degrees; (see this page and Preibisch et al. 2012)

LABOCA 870 micron (orange/red) on optical image


~ 1.2 sq-deg; see Preibisch et al. 2011 and the ESO Photo Release 1145

New results will continuously be added as they become available.

Our publications related to this project:

Chandra X-ray observation of the HII region Gum 31 in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, M. Mehlhorn, L. Townsley, P. Broos, Th. Ratzka, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 564, A120 (2014) preprint
The mysterious Sickle Object in the Carina Nebula: A stellar wind induced bow shock grazing a clump?,
J. Ngoumou, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, A. Burkert, Astrophysical Journal, 769, 139 (2013) preprint
Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula Complex III: Detailed cloud structure and feedback effects,
V. Roccatagliata, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, B. Gaczkowski, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 554, A6 (2013) preprint
Discovering young stars in the Gum 31 region with infrared observations,
H. Ohlendorf, Th. Preibisch, B. Gaczkowski, Th. Ratzka, J. Ngoumou, V. Roccatagliata, R. Grellmann, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 552, A14 (2013) preprint
The Clump Mass Function of the Dense Clouds in the Carina Nebula Complex,
S. Pekruhl, Th. Preibisch, F. Schuller, K. Menten, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 550, A29 (2013) preprint
Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula complex II: The embedded young stellar and protostellar population,
B. Gaczkowski, Th. Preibisch, Th. Ratzka, V. Roccatagliata, H. Ohlendorf, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 549, A67 (2013) preprint
Herschel far-infrared observations of the Carina Nebula complex: Introduction and global cloud structure,
Th. Preibisch, V. Roccatagliata, B. Gaczkowski, T. Ratzka, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 541, A132 (2012) preprint
Jet-driving protostars identified from infrared observations of the Carina nebula complex,
H. Ohlendorf, Th. Preibisch, B. Gaczkowski, Th. Ratzka, R. Grellmann, A. F. McLeod, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 540, A81 (2012) preprint
Detection of a large massive circumstellar disk around a high-mass young stellar object in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, T. Ratzka, T. Gehring, H. Ohlendorf, H. Zinnecker, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, J.R. Lewis, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 530, A40 (2011) preprint
Deep wide-field near-infrared survey of the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, T. Ratzka, B. Kuderna, H. Ohlendorf, R.R. King, S. Hodgkin, M. Irwin, J.R. Lewis, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 530, A34 (2011) preprint
Near-Infrared properties of the X-ray emitting young stellar objects in the Carina Nebula,
Th. Preibisch, S. Hodgkin, M. Irwin, J.R. Lewis, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, L. Townsley, P. Broos, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 10 (2011) preprint
An Introduction to the Chandra Carina Complex Project,
L. Townsley, P. Broos, M.F. Corcoran, and further 30 co-authors including Th. Preibisch, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 1(2011) preprint
The Chandra Carina Complex Project View of Trumpler 16,
S.J. Wolk, P. Broos, K.V. Getman, E.D. Feigelson, Th. Preibisch, L. Townsley, J. Wang, K.G. Stassun, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, A.F.J. Moffat, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 12 (2011) preprint
A Chandra ACIS Study of the Young Star Cluster Trumpler 15 in Carina and Correlation with Near-Infrared Sources,
J. Wang, E.D. Feigelson, L. Townsley, P. Broos, K.V. Getman, S.J. Wolk, Th. Preibisch, K.G. Stassun, A.F.J. Moffat, G. Garmire, R.R. King, M.J. McCaughrean, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 11 (2011) preprint
A Catalog of Chandra X-ray Sources in the Carina Nebula,
P. Broos, L. Townsley, E.D. Feigelson, K.V. Getman, G. Garmire, Th. Preibisch, N. Smith, B.L. Babler, S. Hodgkin, R. Indebetouw, M. Irwin, R.R. King, J. Lewis, S.R. Majewski, M.J. McCaughrean, M.R. Maede, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 2 (2011) preprint
X-ray Star Clusters in the Carina Complex,
E.D. Feigelson, K.V. Getman, L. Townsley, P. Broos, M.S. Povich, G. Garmire, R.R. King, T. Montmerle, Th. Preibisch, N. Smith, K.G. Stassun, J. Wang, S. Wolk, H. Zinnecker, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 194, 9 (2011) preprint
A deep wide-field sub-mm survey of the Carina Nebula complex,
Th. Preibisch, F. Schuller, H. Ohlendorf, S. Pekruhl, K.M. Menten, H. Zinnecker, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 525, A92 (2011) preprint



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