AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 4. Star-Forming Environments
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Monroe/Lincoln

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[4.09] Analysis of Near-IR Images of Candidate Protostars in the Taurus-Auriga Molecular Cloud

S. Park (UC Berkeley, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), S.J. Kenyon (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

We analyze near-IR images taken in the JHK filters of 23 embedded young stellar objects in the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud. We determine whether the sources are extended or point like by analyzing the full width at half maximum and elongation of each source, as well as by examining the JHK images of each source. We compare our results with a radio survey of the same embedded sources to see if they correlate. We find compelling evidence that 18 out of the 23 sources agree with the radio findings. Two of the sources (04016+2610 and 04302+2247) are extended in the near-IR but not in the radio and another source (04181+2654B) is extended in the radio but not in the near-IR. Two other sources also seem to be extended only in the radio survey (04181+2654A and 04381+2540), but these sources also exhibit possible signs of weak extension. Thus these somewhat ambiguous sources have not been conclusively classified as either extended or point-like.

These results support the idea that extended embedded sources are protostars surrounded by infalling clouds of gas and dust. Point-like sources have no surrounding cloud. The ambiguous sources may be at an intermediate stage of evolution between protostars and classical T Tauri stars.

This project was conducted as part of the SAO Summer Intern Program, which is supported by the NSF REU (AST-9731923) program.

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