Volume 455, Number 2, August IV 2006
|Page(s)||561 - 576|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||04 August 2006|
VLT K-band spectroscopy of massive young stellar objects in (ultra-)compact HII regions
Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild Strasse 2, Garching-bei-München, 85748, Germany
3 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Accepted: 10 May 2006
High-quality K-band spectra of strongly reddened point sources, deeply embedded in (ultra-)compact regions, have revealed a population of 20 young massive stars showing no photospheric absorption lines, but sometimes strong Brγ emission. The Brγ equivalent widths occupy a wide range (from about 1 to over 100 Å); the line widths of 100–200 km s-1 indicate a circumstellar rather than a nebular origin. The K-band spectra exhibit one or more features commonly associated with massive young stellar objects (YSOs) surrounded by circumstellar material: a very red colour , CO bandhead emission, hydrogen emission lines (sometimes doubly peaked), and and/or emission lines. The large number of objects in our sample allows a more detailed definition and thorough investigation of the properties of the massive YSOs. In the () colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) the massive YSO candidates are located in a region delimited by the OB zero-age main sequence, Be stars, Herbig Ae and Be stars, and B[e] supergiants. The massive YSO distribution in the CMD suggests that the majority of the objects are of similar spectral type as the Herbig Be stars, but some of them are young O stars. The spectral properties of the observed objects do not correlate with the location in the CMD. The CO emission must come from a relatively dense () and hot ( K) region, sufficiently shielded from the intense UV radiation field of the young massive star. The hydrogen emission is produced in an ionised medium exposed to UV radiation. The best geometrical solution is a dense and neutral circumstellar disk causing the CO bandhead emission, and an ionised upper layer where the hydrogen lines are produced. We present arguments that the circumstellar disk is more likely a remnant of the accretion process than the result of rapid rotation and mass loss such as in Be/B[e] stars.
Key words: infrared: stars / stars: formation / stars: early-type / stars: circumstellar matter / stars: pre-main sequence
© ESO, 2006
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