Kicking at the darkness: detecting deeply embedded protostars at 1–10 μm




Maxwell, Aaron J.

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We present an analysis of observations using the Spitzer Space Telescope and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope of deeply embedded protostars in the Perseus Giant Molecular Cloud. Building on the results of Jørgensen et al. (2007), we attempt to characterize the physical properties of these deeply embedded protostars, discovered due to their extremely red near infrared colours and their proximity to protostellar cores detected at 850 μm. Using a grid of radiative transfer models by Robitaille et al. (2006), we fit the observed fluxes of each source, and build statistical descriptions of the best fits. We also use simple one dimensional analytic approximations to the protostars in order to determine the physical size and mass of the protostellar envelope, and use these 1D models to provide a goodness-of-fit criterion when considering the model grid fits to the Perseus sources. We find that it is possible to create red [3.6]-[4.5] and [8.0]-[24] colours by inflating the inner envelope radius, as well as by observing embedded protostars through the bipolar outflows. The majority of the deeply embedded protostars, however, are well fit by models seen at intermediate inclinations, with outflow cavity opening angles < 30o, and scattering of photons off of the cavity walls produces the red colours. We also discuss other results of the SED fitting.



stars, formation, radiative transfer, stars, pre-main sequence, dust, extinction, infrared, stars, submillimetre