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W. Brandner (IfA), M. F. Corcoran (GSFC-LHEA/USRA), B. Brandl (Cornell), Y.-H. Chu (UIUC), E.K. Grebel (MPIA), B. Johnson (GWU), B. Koribalski (CSIRO), S. Marchenko (Montreal), A. Muecke (Montreal), R. Mushotzky (CSIRO), A. Moffat (Montreal), J. Pittard (Leeds), A. Pollock (C&S Ltd), A. Ptak (CMU), G. Skalkowski (Montreal), I. Stevens (Birmingham)
We use our extensive set of ground-based optical and near-infrared data to identify visual counterparts to X-ray sources detected by CHANDRA in the Galactic giant HII region NGC 3603 and its central starburst cluster. A comparison of optical and near-infrared photometry with theoretical pre-main-sequence and main-sequence isochrones yields physical properties like the effective temperature or the mass of individual objects. The large area coverage of the ground-based data enables us to study radial gradients in the physical properties and to assign probabilities for cluster membership to individual sources.
Optical and near-infrared emission-line images and spectra draw a dynamical picture of the interstellar medium surrounding the cluster, and point to regions which might exhibit diffuse X-ray emission from shock-heated gas.