Low-mass star formation and subclustering in the H II regions RCW 32, 33, and 27 of the Vela Molecular Ridge
A photometric diagnostics for identifying M-type stars⋆
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
2 Department of Physics “E. Fermi”, University of Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Accepted: 14 June 2018
Context. Most stars are born in clusters, and recent results suggest that star formation (SF) preferentially occurs in subclusters. Studying the morphology and SF history of young clusters is crucial for understanding early cluster formation processes.
Aims. We aim to identify the embedded population of young stellar objects (YSOs) down to the low-mass stars in the M-type regime in the three H II regions RCW 33, RCW 32, and RCW 27, which are located in the northwestern region of the Vela Molecular Ridge. Our aim is to characterize their properties, such as morphology and extent of the clusters in the three H II regions, derive stellar ages, and determine the connection of the SF history with the environment.
Methods. Through public photometric surveys such as Gaia, VPHAS+, 2MASS, and Spitzer/GLIMPSE, we identify YSOs with classical techniques aimed at detecting IR, Hα, and UV excesses as signatures of circumstellar disks and accretion. In addition, we implement a method for distinguishing main-sequence (MS) stars and giants in the M-type regime by comparing the reddening derived in several optical/IR color-color diagrams, assuming suitable theoretical models. Since this diagnostic is sensitive to stellar gravity, the procedure allows us to also identify pre-MS (PMS) stars.
Results. Using the classical membership criteria, we find that a large population of YSOs shows signatures of circumstellar disks with or without accretion. In addition, with the new technique of M-type star selection, we find a rich population of young M-type stars whose spatial distribution strongly correlates with the more massive population. We find evidence of three young clusters, with different morphology, for which we estimate the individual distances using TGAS Gaia data of the brighter subsample. In addition, we identify field stars falling in the same region by securely classifying them as giants and foreground MS stars.
Conclusions. We identify the embedded population of YSOs down to about 0.1 M⊙ that is associated with the three H II regions RCW 33, RCW 32, and RCW 27 and the three clusters Vela T2, Cr 197, and Vela T1, respectively. All the three clusters are located at a similar distance, but they have very different morphologies. Our results suggest a decreasing SF rate in Vela T2 and triggered SF in Cr 197 and Vela T1.
Key words: techniques: photometric / stars: low-mass / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: formation / H II regions / open clusters and associations: general
Full Tables 2 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/617/A63
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