Young stars and protostellar cores near NGC 2023*
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400005, India e-mail: email@example.com
2 SOFIA-USRA, NASA Ames Research Center, MS 211-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
3 Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
4 Joint ALMA Observatory, Av Apoquindo 3650 Piso 18, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
5 The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road Charlottesville, VA 22903-2475, USA
Accepted: 14 September 2009
Context. We investigate the young (proto)stellar population in NGC 2023 and the L 1630 molecular cloud bordering the h ii region IC 434, using Spitzer IRAC and MIPS archive data, JCMT SCUBA imaging and spectroscopy as well as targeted BIMA observations of one of the Class 0 protostars, NGC 2023 MM 1.
Aims. We study the distribution of gas, dust and young stars in this region to see where stars are forming, whether the expansion of the h ii region has triggered star formation, and whether dense cold cores have already formed stars.
Methods. We have performed photometry of all IRAC and MIPS images, and used color–color diagrams to identify and classify all young stars seen within a 22'26' field along the boundary between IC 434 and L 1630. For some stars, which have sufficient optical, IR, and/or sub-millimeter data we have also used the online SED fitting tool for a large 2D archive of axisymmetric radiative transfer models to perform more detailed modeling of the observed SEDs. We identify 5 sub-millimeter cores in our 850 and 450 μm SCUBA images, two of which have embedded class 0 or I protostars. Observations with BIMA are used to refine the position and characteristics of the Class 0 source NGC 2023 MM 1. These observations show that it is embedded in a very cold cloud core, which is strongly enhanced in NH2D.
Results. We find that HD 37903 is the most massive member of a cluster with 20–30 PMS stars. We also find smaller groups of PMS stars formed from the Horsehead nebula and another elephant trunk structure to the north of the Horsehead. Star formation is also occurring in the dark lane seen in IRAC images and in the sub-millimeter continuum. We refine the spectral classification of HD 37903 to B2 Ve. We find that the star has a clear IR excess, and therefore it is a young Herbig Be star.
Conclusions. Our study shows that the expansion of the IC 434 h ii region has triggered star formation in some of the dense elephant trunk structures and compressed gas inside the L 1630 molecular cloud. This pre-shock region is seen as a sub-millimeter ridge in which stars have already formed. The cluster associated with NGC 2023 is very young, and has a large fraction of Class I sources.
Key words: dust, extinction / ISM: clouds / infrared: ISM
© ESO, 2009