No Evidence for Protoplanetary Disk Destruction By OB Stars in the MYStIX Sample

Alexander J. W. Richert, Eric D. Feigelson, Konstantin V. Getman, Michael A. Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hubble Space Telescope images of proplyds in the Orion Nebula, as well as submillimeter/radio measurements, show that the dominant O7 star {θ }1Ori C photoevaporates nearby disks around pre-main-sequence stars. Theory predicts that massive stars photoevaporate disks within distances of the order of 0.1 pc. These findings suggest that young, OB-dominated massive H ii regions are inhospitable to the survival of protoplanetary disks and, subsequently, to the formation and evolution of planets. In the current work, we test this hypothesis using large samples of pre-main-sequence stars in 20 massive star-forming regions selected with X-ray and infrared photometry in the MYStIX survey. Complete disk destruction would lead to a deficit of cluster members with an excess in JHKS and Spitzer/IRAC bands in the vicinity of O stars. In four MYStIX regions containing O stars and a sufficient surface density of disk-bearing sources to reliably test for spatial avoidance, we find no evidence for the depletion of inner disks around pre-main-sequence stars in the vicinity of O-type stars, even very luminous O2-O5 stars. These results suggest that massive star-forming regions are not very hostile to the survival of protoplanetary disks and, presumably, to the formation of planets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • infrared: stars
  • methods: statistical
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: formation
  • stars: pre-main sequence
  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
  • Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics


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