X-ray study of triggered star formation and protostars in IC 1396N

Konstantin V. Getman, Eric D. Feigelson, Gordon Garmire, Patrick Broos, Junfeng Wang

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The IC 1396N cometary globule (CG) within the large nearby H II region IC 1396 has been observed with the ACIS detector on board the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. We detect 117 X-ray sources, of which ∼50-6Q are likely mem-, bers of the young open cluster Trumpler 37 dispersed throughout the H II region, and 25 are associated with young stars formed within the globule. Infrared photometry (2MASS and Spitzer) shows that the X-ray population is very young: 3 older Class III stars, 16 classical T Tauri stars, and 6 protostars including a Class 0/1 system. We infer a total T Tauri population of ∼30 stars in the globule, including the undetected population, with a star formation efficiency of 1 % -4%. An elongated source spatial distribution with an age gradient oriented toward the exciting star is discovered in the X-ray population of IC 1396N, supporting similar findings in other cometary globules. The geometric and age distribution is consistent with the radiation-driven implosion (RDI) model for triggered star formation in CGs by H II region shocks. The inferred velocity of the shock front propagating into the globule is ∼0.6 km s-1. The large number of X-ray-luminous protostars in the globule suggests either an unusually high ratio of Class 1/0 to Class II/III stars or a nonstandard initial mass function favoring higher mass stars by the triggering process. We find that the Chandra source associated with the luminous Class 0/1 protostar IRAS 21391+5802 is one of the youngest stars ever detected in the X-ray band. We also establish for the first time that the X-ray absorption in protostars arises from the local infalling envelopes rather than from ambient molecular cloud material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-337
Number of pages22
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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