SPYGLASS III: The Fornax-Horologium Association and its Traceback History within the Austral Complex

Ronan Kerr, Adam L. Kraus, Simon J. Murphy, Daniel M. Krolikowski, Timothy R. Bedding, Aaron C. Rizzuto

Submitted on 31 October 2022


The study of young associations is essential for building a complete record of local star formation processes. The Fornax-Horologium association (FH), including the χ1 Fornacis cluster, represents one of the nearest young stellar populations to the Sun. This association has recently been linked to the Tuc-Hor, Carina, and Columba associations, building an extensive ``Austral Complex'' almost entirely within 150 pc. Using Gaia astrometry and photometry in addition to new spectroscopic observations, we perform the deepest survey of FH to date, identifying over 300 candidate members, nearly doubling the known population. By combining this sample with literature surveys of the other constituent populations, we produce a contiguous stellar population covering the entire Austral Complex, allowing the definitions of sub-populations to be re-assessed along with connections to external populations. This analysis recovers new definitions for FH, Tuc-Hor, Columba, and Carina, while also revealing a connection between the Austral complex and the Sco-Cen-affiliated Platais 8 cluster. This suggests that the Austral complex may be just a small component of a much larger and more diverse star formation event. Computing ages and tracing stellar populations back to formation reveals two distinct nodes of cospatial and continuous formation in the Austral Complex, one containing Tuc-Hor, and the other containing FH, Carina, and Columba. This mirrors recent work showing similar structure elsewhere, suggesting that these nodes, which only emerge through the use of traceback, may represent the clearest discrete unit of local star formation, and a key building block needed to reconstruct larger star-forming events.


Comment: Accepted to ApJ; 29 pages, 10 figures, 5 tables in two-column AASTEX63 format

Subjects: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics