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A Glimpse of Star Formation in the Giant H II Region RCW 49


Whitney, BA and Indebetouw, R and Babler, BL and Meade, MR and Watson, C and Wolff, MJ and Wolfire, MG and Clemens, DP and Bania, TM and Benjamin, RA and Cohen, M and Devine, KE and Dickey, JM and Heitsch, F and Jackson, JM and Kobulnicky, HA and Marston, AP and Mathis, JS and Mercer, EP and Stauffer, JR and Stolovy, SR and Churchwell, EB, A Glimpse of Star Formation in the Giant H II Region RCW 49, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 154, (1) pp. 315-321. ISSN 0067-0049 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/422557


GLIMPSE imaging using the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that star formation is ongoing in the RCW 9 giant H II region. A photometric comparison of the sources in RCW 49 to a similar area to its north finds that at least 300 stars brighter than 13th magnitude in band [3.6] have infrared excesses inconsistent with reddening due to foreground extinction. These are likely young stellar objects (YSOs) more massive than 2.5 M⊙, suggesting that thousands more low-mass stars are forming in this cloud. Some of the YSOs are massive (B stars) and therefore very young, suggesting that a new generation of star formation is occurring, possibly triggered by stellar winds and shocks generated by the older (2-3 Myr) central massive cluster. The Spitzer IRAC camera has proven to be ideally suited for distinguishing young stars from field stars, and the GLIMPSE survey of the Galactic plane will likely find thousands of new star formation regions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dickey, JM (Professor John Dickey)
ID Code:36007
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:69
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2005-09-27
Last Modified:2011-11-29

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