Investigation of the stellar content in the western part of the Carina nebula⋆
Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de
Allée du 6 Août 17, Bât. B5c,
e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Manora Peak, 263 002 Nainital, India
Accepted: 24 April 2014
Context. The low obscuration and proximity of the Carina nebula make it an ideal place to study the ongoing star formation process and impact of massive stars on low-mass stars in their surroundings.
Aims. To investigate this process, we generated a new catalog of the pre-main-sequence stars in the Carina west (CrW) region and studied their nature and spatial distribution. We also determined various parameters (reddening, reddening law, age, mass), which are used further to estimate the initial mass function and K-band luminosity function for the region under study.
Methods. We obtained deep UBVRI Hα photometric data of the field situated to the west of the main Carina nebula and centered on WR 22. Medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of a subsample of X-ray selected objects along with archival data sets from Chandra, XMM-Newton and 2MASS surveys were used for the present study. Different sets of color–color and color-magnitude diagrams are used to determine reddening for the region and to identify young stellar objects (YSOs) and estimate their age and mass.
Results. Our spectroscopic results indicate that the majority of the X-ray sources are late spectral type stars. The region shows a large amount of differential reddening with minimum and maximum values of E(B − V) as 0.25 and 1.1 mag, respectively. Our analysis reveals that the total-to-selective absorption ratio RV is ~3.7 ± 0.1, suggesting an abnormal grain size in the observed region. We identified 467 YSOs and studied their characteristics. The ages and masses of the 241 optically identified YSOs range from ~0.1 to 10 Myr and ~0.3 to 4.8 M⊙, respectively. However, the majority of them are younger than 1 Myr and have masses below 2 M⊙. The high mass star WR 22 does not seem to have contributed to the formation of YSOs in the CrW region. The initial mass function slope, Γ, in this region is found to be −1.13 ± 0.20 in the mass range of 0.5 < M/M⊙ < 4.8. The K-band luminosity function slope (α) is also estimated as 0.31 ± 0.01. We also performed minimum spanning tree analysis of the YSOs in this region, which reveals that there are at least ten YSO cores associated with the molecular cloud, and that leads to an average core radius of 0.43 pc and a median branch length of 0.28 pc.
Key words: stars: massive / stars: individual: WR 22 / stars: luminosity function, mass function / stars: pre-main sequence
Full Table 3 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/567/A109
© ESO, 2014