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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[105.16] Infrared Imaging of Protoclusters in Orion B

A. J. Ruiter (Saint Mary's University/NMSU), G. F. Mitchell (Saint Mary's University)

Sub-millimetre mapping of Orion B using SCUBA (Mitchell et al. 2001, ApJ, 556, 215) has revealed a large population of compact cores, most of which are clustered in well-separated regions. In three nights in January 2003, we obtained near-infrared images of one of these regions. Using the CFHT-IR camera on the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, we imaged NGC 2068 in a narrow band K-continuum filter, and in a narrow band filter centred on the 2.122 micron line of H2. This vibrational H2 line is a well-known diagnostic for shocked gas and radiatively excited gas. When it is observed in regions of active star formation, the exciting mechanism is often shock excitation by a young stellar object (YSO) outflow. The IR images show continuum point sources (stars), and regions of extended continuum and molecular hydrogen emission.

Some cores show a coincident infrared source, while others show no sign of an associated IR source. The latter situation is an indication that the core in question, if containing a forming star, is deeply embedded. Since deeply embedded cores will have no obvious associated narrow-band K emission, the H2 map and a CO map of high-velocity gas are useful probes of the physical processes which are taking place in the vicinity of each core. We will present the H2 and K continuum images, comparing the IR emission with the SCUBA map and with a previously obtained map of CO. In particular, we will discuss the implications of these new observations for the evolutionary state of the SCUBA cores.

This research was supported by G.F.M.'s NSERC grant.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: aruiter@nmsu.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.