April 2010 • 2010ApJ...712..797B
Abstract • The Vulpecula OB association, Vul OB1, is a region of active star formation located in the Galactic plane at 2.3 kpc from the Sun. Previous studies suggest that sequential star formation is propagating along this 100 pc long molecular complex. In this paper, we use Spitzer MIPSGAL and GLIMPSE data to reconstruct the star formation history of Vul OB1, and search for signatures of past triggering events. We make a census of young stellar objects (YSOs) in Vul OB1 based on IR color and magnitude criteria, and we rely on the properties and nature of these YSOs to trace recent episodes of massive star formation. We find 856 YSO candidates, and show that the evolutionary stage of the YSO population in Vul OB1 is rather homogeneous—ruling out the scenario of propagating star formation. We estimate the current star formation efficiency to be ~8%. We also report the discovery of a dozen pillar-like structures, which are confirmed to be sites of small scale triggered star formation.