AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 49. Latest Results from 2MASS
Display, Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 10:00am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 49] | [Next]

[49.01] Triggered Star Formation with 2MASS

J.M. Rathborne, M.G. Burton (School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), K.J. Brooks (European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile)

In giant molecular clouds, the interaction of newly-formed massive stars with the parent material may trigger fresh star formation in neighboring regions of the cloud. The intense UV radiation and winds from the massive stars heat and dominate the chemistry of the molecular material, causing photo-dissociation regions (PDRs) throughout the cloud. The morphology of these dense regions and the location of deeply embedded sources around them, can point to regions where star formation has been induced. The 2MASS wavelength regime is ideal for locating such embedded sources within these regions. We are investigating this interaction in two differing regions of massive star formation---the Carina Nebula and NGC 6334---using 2MASS and other data.

The Carina nebula contains many of the OB stars identified in our galaxy, including the spectacular star \eta Carina. The existence of several embedded sources on the edge of a bright PDR in this region, suggests that star formation may have been triggered by the intense UV radiation and winds from \eta Carina. Several other dense IR condensations have been recently identified in the Carina region. By comparing images from the 2MASS database with other ground- and space-based observations, we have identified a number of embedded sources located at the edge of one such dense molecular region. The relationship between these features is extremely useful in determining if active star formation is spontaneous or triggered at these sites.

NGC 6334 is a young star forming region, containing seven distinct sites of active star formation. Stars within this region have a spread in evolutionary stage and radiation fields, allowing these differing effects to be studied on the one molecular cloud complex. 2MASS images of this region reveal strong near IR emission as well as diffuse 2\mum emission. The location and morphology of an extremely red source in the 2MASS images, in combination with other data, confirms the presence of a massive protostar.

[Previous] | [Session 49] | [Next]