The Eagle's EGGs: Fertile or sterile?
Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany e-mail: email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: M. J. McCaughrean, email@example.com
Accepted: 16 April 2002
We present a deep, high spatial resolution (0.35 arcsec FWHM), near-infrared (1–2.5) imaging survey of the Eagle Nebula, M 16, made with the VLT, centred on the famous elephant trunks. We compare these data with the existing HST optical images to search for evidence of ongoing or recent star formation in the trunks, and in particular in the 73 small evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) on their surface. We find that two of the three HST trunks have relatively massive YSOs in their tips. Most of the EGGs appear to be empty, but some 15% of them do show evidence for associated young low-mass stars or brown dwarfs: in particular, there is a small cluster of such sources seen at the head of the largest trunk.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs / HII regions / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2002