As part of the Accretion Discs in H$\alpha$ with OmegaCAM (ADHOC) survey, we imaged in r, i and H-alpha a region of 12x8 square degrees around the Orion Nebula Cluster. Thanks to the high-quality photometry obtained, we discovered three well-separated pre-main sequences in the color-magnitude diagram. The populations are all concentrated towards the cluster's center. Although several explanations can be invoked to explain these sequences we are left with two competitive, but intriguing, scenarios: a population of unresolved binaries with an exotic mass ratio distribution or three populations with different ages. Independent high-resolution spectroscopy supports the presence of discrete episodes of star formation, each separated by about a million years. The stars from the two putative youngest populations rotate faster than the older ones, in agreement with the evolution of stellar rotation observed in pre-main sequence stars younger than 4 Myr in several star forming regions. Whatever the final explanation, our results prompt for a revised look at the formation mode and early evolution of stars in clusters.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Astronomy & Astrophysics|
|Early online date||27 Jul 2017|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2017|