Massive stars strongly influence the chemistry, dynamics, morphology and thermal structure of their natal environment through a variety of processes globally described as stellar feedback. Feedback is significantly altering these environments, affecting star formation in them, and eventually regulating the evolution of galaxies. To facilitate the identification of driving feedback mechanisms such as stellar wind, radiation pressure and thermal expansion, co-PIs Alexander Tielens (Leiden Observatory) and Nicola Schneider (University of Cologne) are leading the FEEDBACK legacy program on SOFIA.
Across a diverse selection of massive star formation regions (including HII regions of different geometries, single stars, small groups and star clusters), [C II] and [O I] maps will be used to characterize the kinematic and physical properties over large spatial scales. Schneider et al., 2020 presents in detail the scientific context and the observation plans. The Maryland team’s website gives detailed information on the sources and provides links to the PDR analysis tools, while the Cologne team’s website informs about the current observations status. FEEDBACK observations with GREAT started in 2019, and will eventually produce large spectrally-resolved maps of [C II] and [O I] emission on 11 sources.
Preliminary data have been released for the sources RCW79, RCW49, RCW36, RCW120, NGC7538, NGC6334, the Cygnus X region, W40, M16 and M17, corresponding to FITS data cubes of the observations to date. The data are publicly available for download at the SOFIA Archive under program ID 07_0077. While all maps have varying number of missing spatial fields (see completion rates), the observed fields are already fully sampled for [C II]. These maps will be completed after missing fields are observed during the remainder of Cycle 8.