A multiwavelength study of embedded clusters in W5-east, NGC7538, S235, S252 and S254-S258 [SSA]


We present Spitzer, NIR and millimeter observations of the massive star forming regions W5-east, S235, S252, S254-S258 and NGC7538. Spitzer data is combined with near-IR observations to identify and classify the young population while 12CO and 13CO observations are used to examine the parental molecular cloud. We detect in total 3021 young stellar objects (YSOs). Of those, 539 are classified as Class I, and 1186 as Class II sources. YSOs are distributed in groups surrounded by a more scattered population. Class I sources are more hierarchically organized than Class II and associated with the most dense molecular material. We identify in total 41 embedded clusters containing between 52 and 73% of the YSOs. Clusters are in general non-virialized, turbulent and have star formation efficiencies between 5 and 50%. We compare the physical properties of embedded clusters harboring massive stars (MEC) and low-mass embedded clusters (LEC) and find that both groups follow similar correlations where the MEC are an extrapolation of the LEC. The mean separation between MEC members is smaller compared to the cluster Jeans length than for LEC members. These results are in agreement with a scenario where stars are formed in hierarchically distributed dusty filaments where fragmentation is mainly driven by turbulence for the more massive clusters. We find several young OB-type stars having IR-excess emission which may be due to the presence of an accretion disk.

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L. Chavarria, L. Allen, C. Brunt, et. al.
Thu, 13 Mar 14