Evidence for a massive protocluster in S255N

C. J. Cyganowski*, C. L. Brogan, T. R. Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

S255N is a luminous far-infrared source that contains many indications of active star formation but lacks a prominent near-infrared stellar cluster. We present mid-infrared through radio observations aimed at exploring the evolutionary state of this region. Our observations include 1.3 mm continuum and spectral line data from the Submillimeter Array, Very Large Array 3.6 cm continuum and 1.3 cm water maser data, and multicolor IRAC images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. The cometary morphology of the previously known UC HII region G192.584-0.041 is clearly revealed in our sensitive, multiconfiguration 3.6 cm images. The 1.3 mm continuum emission has been resolved into three compact cores, all of which are dominated by dust emission and have radii < 7000 AU. The mass estimates for these cores range from 6 to 35M_sun. The centroid of the brightest dust core (SMA1) is offset by 1.1" (2800AU) from the peak of the cometary UC HII region and exhibits the strongest HC3N, CN, and DCN line emission in the region. SMA1 also exhibits compact CH3OH, SiO, and H2CO emission and likely contains a young hot core. We find spatial and kinematic evidence that SMA1 may contain further multiplicity, with one of the components coincident with a newly detected H2O maser. There are no mid-infrared point-source counterparts to any of the dust cores, further suggesting an early evolutionary phase for these objects. The dominant mid-infrared emission is a diffuse, broadband component that traces the surface of the cometary UC HII region but is obscured by foreground material on its southern edge. An additional 4.5 micron linear feature emanating to the northeast of SMA1 is aligned with a cluster of methanol masers and likely traces a outflow from a protostar within SMA1. Our observations provide direct evidence that S255N is forming a cluster of intermediate- to high-mass stars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-358
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume134
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • infrared : stars
  • ISM : individual (S255N, G192.60-MM1, G192.584-0.041)
  • stars : formation submillimeter
  • techniques : interferometric
  • H-II REGIONS
  • INFRARED ARRAY CAMERA
  • ANGULAR-RESOLUTION CAMERA
  • MOLECULAR CLOUDS
  • METHANOL MASERS
  • SPACE-TELESCOPE
  • STAR-FORMATION
  • RADIO-SOURCES
  • HOT CORE
  • EMISSION

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