April 2021 • 2021ApJ...911...69P
Abstract • Massive star formation occurs in the interior of giant molecular clouds and proceeds through many stages. In this work, we focus on massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) and ultracompact H II regions (UCH II), where the former are enshrouded in dense envelopes of dust and gas, the latter of which has begun dispersing. By selecting a complete sample of MYSOs and UCH II from the Red MSX Source (RMS) survey database, we combine Planck and IRAS data and build their spectral energy distributions. With these, we estimate the physical properties (dust temperatures, mass, luminosity) of the sample. Because the RMS database provides unique solar distances, it also allows the instantaneous star formation efficiency (SFE) to be investigated as a function of Galactocentric radius. We find that the SFE increases between 2 and 4.5 kpc, where it reaches a peak, likely in correspondence with the accumulation of molecular material at the end of the Galactic bar. It then stays approximately constant up to 9 kpc, after which it linearly declines, in agreement with predictions from extragalactic studies. This behavior suggests the presence of a significant amount of undetected molecular gas at RG > 8 kpc. Finally, we present diagnostic colors that can be used to identify sites of massive star formation.