AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 105 Triggered Star Formation and the Orion Protostellar Population
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[105.06] Chandra Observations of the RCW 108 Star Forming Region.

S.J. Wolk (CfA), M. Vigil (MIT), T.L. Bourke, B.D. Spitzbart (CfA)

We present our recent (October 2004) Chandra observations of the embedded star forming region RCW~108. RCW~108 contains a deeply embedded young cluster lying in a dark cloud to the west of the young open cluster NGC 6193 (excited by two early O stars). Our motivation for this obsrvation was to followup on our discovery of diffuse X-ray emission in the older less embedded RCW~38. If the diffuse emission seen in RCW~38 is the result of plasma being trapped within the star forming region by overlaying molecular material, then RCW~108 should contain even more trapped plasma.

At 8-20 \mum microns, the Midcourse Space Experiment Galactic Plane Survey data shows a ridge of warm dust passing through the eastern edge of the emission peak parallel to but west of an optical ridge. Our SEST mm continuum observations show a cold component to this dust ridge peaking strongly at the cluster. The far infrared luminosity suggests that there is more than one significant heating source, i.e., OB stars and/or intermediate mass protostars. The extended infrared nebulosity to the east of the main cluster is due to emission and not reflection, suggesting a break-out of radiation in this direction.

The goals of the observations are to: 1) Study triggered star formation. 2) Investigate the origin and nature of diffuse X-ray emission within regions of massive star formation. 3) Identify deeply embedded PMS stars via their X--ray emission and derive an IMF and XLF. 4) Investigate the X--ray properties of the embedded sources.

This work is supported by the Chandra X-ray Center NASA contact NAS8-39073 and by the Chandra guest observer program.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.