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Session 114 - Circumstellar Material & Nebulae.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10

[114.03] NIR Observations of Emission Line stars in W43 and W51

A. Cotera (JPL/Caltech), J. Simpson (NASA Ames Research Center)

We will present the results of NIR observations of the optically obscured H\kern.2em\small II regions W43 and W51, taken in July 1997 at the Hale 200-inch telescope. We have used narrow band imaging at 2.16 \micron, and 2.19 \micron\ to successfully locate several emission line star candidates within these regions of high optical extinction. In W43, the emission is coincident with a tight cluster of stars observed in the NIR. In W51 we have obtained narrowband images of the NIR clusters IRS1 and IRS2 which also have emission coinicident with the stars. Preliminary indications are that the observed emission line sources may be one or more OB or Wolf-Rayet stars within the clusters. The formation and evolution of these massive stars is still under debate and additional information on the location, distribution and subtype variation within our own galaxy is essential to understanding these unusual stars both in our galaxy and in starburst galaxies.

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