The TMC surveys
  The Team
  Accepted papers

  (restricted access)

  Brown Dwarfs (N. Grosso)

  (restricted access)

  ISSI Meeting 1
  ISSI Meeting 2
  ISSI Meeting 3


  PSI, Switzerland
  LAOG Grenoble, F
  OAPA Palermo, It
  Columbia Univ., NY, USA
  OA Arcetri, Florence, It
  ESTEC, Netherlands
  CASA, Colorado, USA
  PennState Univ., PA, USA
  Caltech, Pasadena, USA
  MPIfR Bonn, Germany
  IfA Hawaii, USA
  CEA Saclay, France


  ISSI, Bern, Switzerland


  Spitzer Taurus Project

  International Team   

  S T A R    F O R M A T I O N    I N    T H E   
T A U R U S    M O L E C U L A R    C L O U D


The XMM-Newton X-ray survey of the Taurus Molecular Cloud is an exceptionally large project to systematically investigate the high-energy properties of young stellar objects in this nearest star-forming region. It is accompanied by optical and near-infrared surveys of the same area. The total X-ray exposure time is more than 200 hours if archival exposures are added. The surveyed areas were specifically selected so as to contribute to a sample of single and binary T Tauri stars, protostars (~19 included), brown dwarfs (BD; ~13 included), and protostellar jets + Herbig-Haro objects (~36 included). For weakly absorbed stars, this survey will systematically go deeper by 1-2 orders of magnitude than previous ROSAT soft X-ray surveys of TMC (Neuhäuser et al. 1995, Stelzer & Neuhäuser 2001); for embedded protostars, it will enter uncharted territory for TMC given XMM-Newton's unprecedented high sensitivity to hard photons. A map of the TMC molecular structure together with the XMM-Newton exposures is illustrated in the following figure.

The figure shows a CO map of TMC (after Mizuno et al. 1995) with the fields of view of the XMM-Newton exposures overplotted (dashed: archival).

+              T Tau stars
X             class I protostars
o              HH objects
filled o     brown dwarfs.

Exposures outside this map:

T Tau

Accompanying surveys of TMC with the Canada-French-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) obtain very deep Halpha, R, andt I band surveys from CFH12K (performed). A MEGACAM optical survey of 20 deg^2 has also been approved (PI Bouvier), and a more sensitive follow-up near-infrared (WIRCAM) survey is being planned. These surveys will for the first time characterize all stellar objects in TMC down to I = 24 mag, providing the indispensable means to identify nearly every X-ray detected object. Sensitive millimeter CO data will be added to map the molecular cloud structure.

A further large proposal (130 hours of exposure time) has been accepted for observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope, the largest available near- to mid-infrared observatory, covering the entire TMC region (29 deg^2) in all available mid-infrared bands. The principal purpose of this survey is to characterize the entire TMC population, find circumstellar disks, and penetrate dense molecular clouds to study deeply embedded protostars.

A large survey of the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) star-forming region is also available from Chandra. The two surveys are complementary: While the ONC is a typical, high-mass star-forming region with a high volume density of stars, TMC is the prototype of isolated/non-clustered low-mass star formation where winds and UV ionizing flux from hot stars are absent.