A near-infrared study of the star-forming region RCW 34.
VAN DER WALT D.J., DE VILLIERS H.M. and CZANIK R.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report the results of a near-infrared imaging study of a 7.8x7.8 arcmin2 region centered on the 6.7 GHz methanol maser associated with the RCW 34 star-forming region using the 1.4 m IRSF telescope at Sutherland. A total of 1283 objects were detected simultaneously in J, H, and K for an exposure time of 10,800 s. The J - H, H - K two-color diagram revealed a strong concentration of more than 700 objects with colors similar to what is expected of reddened classical T Tauri stars. The distribution of the objects on the K versus J - K color-magnitude diagram is also suggestive that a significant fraction of the 1283 objects is made up of lower mass pre-main-sequence stars. We also present the luminosity function for the subset of about 700 pre-main-sequence stars and show that it suggests ongoing star formation activity for about 107 years. An examination of the spatial distribution of the pre-main-sequence stars shows that the fainter (older) part of the population is more dispersed over the observed region and the brighter (younger) subset is more concentrated around the position of the O8.5V star. This suggests that the physical effects of the O8.5V star and the two early B-type stars on the remainder of the cloud out of which they formed could have played a role in the onset of the more recent episode of star formation in RCW 34.