AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 96. Associations, Young Massive Clusters
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[96.09] The Puzzle of the Narrow Brackett Lines in Super Star Cluster Nebulae

J. L. Turner (UCLA), S. C. Beck (Tel Aviv), L. P. Crosthwaite, D. S. Meier (UCLA)

We have high resolution (R~ 25000) spectra of Brackett recombination line emission from nebulae surrounding young, optically obscured super star clusters in the process of formation. We used the NIRSPEC spectrometer on the Keck Telescope for these observations.

We detected Brackett \gamma emission from nebulae in NGC 660, He 2-10, II Zw 40, and M83. The slit positions were the locations of bright radio nebulae (Carral et al. 1990, ApJ, 362, 434; Turner & Ho 1994, ApJ, 421, 122; Kobulnicky & Johnson, 1999, ApJ, 527, 154; and Beck et al. 2001, in prep.)

The Brackett \gamma intensities confirm that these bright and compact radio sources are indeed HII regions, or ``supernebulae" surrounding young clusters containing several thousand O stars, and potentially millions of cluster stars. The Brackett \gamma linewidths are in general remarkably small for the sizes and inferred masses of the clusters. Although there is some evidence for cluster winds, we suggest that these nebulae may be graviationally bound, as seems to be the case for the supernebula in NGC 5253 (Turner et al. 2001, submitted.)

This research is supported by NSF grant AST-0071276 to J.L.T., the Israel Academy Center for Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Grant to S.C.B., and Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research to L.P.C. and D.S.M.

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