AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 136. Star Formation Young Stars
Oral, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 606-607

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[136.07] Discovery of Nonthermal X-ray Emission from the Embedded Massive Star Forming Region RCW 38

S. Wolk, T. Bourke, R. K. Smith, B. Spitzbart (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), J. Alves (ESO)

We report on results of a 96.7 ks Chandra observation of one of the youngest, most embedded and massive young stellar clusters studied to date in X-rays -- RCW~38. We find a region of extended emission about 1.25~pc~\times~1.75~pc. The emission is consistent with synchrotron emission. The power index of the emission steepens toward the cluster core implying that the magnetic field originates there. This is the first evidence of synchrotron emission filling a region of active star formation. The source of the necessary magnetic field is unclear. We measure the hydrogen column to the emission and find NH increases from 7.6 \times 1021~cm-2 to 1.61 \times 1022~cm-2 increasing from the northwest to the southeast quadrants of the cluster, consistent with near-infrared extinction data.

The work is supported by the Chandra X-ray Center NASA Contract NAS8-39073 and by Chandra guest observer grant G02-3015X.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.