AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 28. Nearby Galaxies
Display, Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 10:00am-6:30pm, Empire Hall South

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[28.08] Star Formation in 30 Doradus: The Next Generation

W. Brandner (IfA), E.K. Grebel (UWash/MPIA), R.H. Barba (UNLP), N.R. Walborn (STScI)

We have analyzed HST/NICMOS data of 16 luminous infrared sources in the vicinity of 30 Doradus. The majority of the sources appear to be recently formed O stars, which are still partially embedded.

The high-spatial resolution NICMOS data reveal that some of the young O stars are multiple, non-hierarchical systems similar to the O stars constituting the Trapezium system in Orion. Near-infrared color-magnitude and color-color diagrams allow us to identify the stellar populations next to the young massive stars. Contrary to Orion only some of the young O stars have associated clusters of low-mass stars, while others appear to be isolated. This raises the interesting question whether massive stars can form in relative isolation. Such a mode of star formation would have interesting implications for the universality of the initial mass function.

We discuss the implications of this second generation of star formation in 30 Dor for the interpretation of more distant starburst regions.

Support for this research was provided by NASA and NSF.

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