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The Kinematics of Star Formation: Theory and Observation in the Gaia Era

ABSTRACT

The European Space Agency's Gaia space telescope, launched in 2013, aims to measure the positions, parallaxes, and proper motions of a billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. In doing so it will include hundreds of thousands of young stars in star forming regions, star clusters and OB associations. This will provide us with an unprecedented view of the role of dynamics in the star formation process and the evolution of young star clusters. Data from this ambitious mission is expected very soon, with the first data release scheduled for 2016. This review discusses the current state of our understanding of the kinematics of star formation and how the community can best prepare for Gaia data.