The mechanical (stellar winds, radiation pressure, supernovae explosions) and radiative (ionization, UV radiation) feedback of massive stars on their environment regulates the physical conditions of the interstellar medium (ISM), sets its emission characteristics, and governs the star formation activity through the negative (molecular cloud destruction) and positive (cloud compression) feedback. Understanding the physical processes that regulate the impact of massive stars on their environment is thus a key question in modern astrophysics and a major theme of the Stratospheric Observatory for Far-‐‑Infrared astronomy (SOFIA).
I will present the first results of the SOFIA legacy project FEEDBACK that was granted 96 hours observing time in order to map in 11 prominent Galactic star-‐‑forming regions the [CII] 158μm line and the [OI] 63μm line (observed in parallel), using the upGREAT heterodyne instrument. We study the interaction of massive stars with their environment in a sample of sources that span a range in stellar characteristics from single OB stars, to small groups of O stars, to rich young stellar clusters, to mini starbursts, including prominent sources such as M16, M17, NGC6334, RCW79, RCW36, and Cygnus in the northern and southern hemisphere. With these observations, it is possible to quantify the relationship between star formation activity and energy injection and the negative and positive feedback processes involved, and link that to other measures of activity on scales of individual massive stars, of small stellar groups, and of star clusters. Observations started in may 2019 and I will present the first results of the sources RCW120 and RCW49. The [CII] 158μm and [OI] 63μm maps of all sources observed so far are publicly available and open to the astronomical community.
Feedback information: https://feedback.astro.umd.edu/index.html