STAR FORMATION IN W3—AFGL 333: YOUNG STELLAR CONTENT, PROPERTIES, AND ROLES OF EXTERNAL FEEDBACK

Jessy Jose, Jinyoung S. Kim, Gregory J. Herczeg, Manash R. Samal, John H. Bieging, Michael R. Meyer, William H. Sherry
2016 Astrophysical Journal  
One of the key questions in the field of star formation is the role of stellar feedback on subsequent star formation process. The W3 giant molecular cloud complex at the western border of the W4 super bubble is thought to be influenced by the stellar winds of the massive stars in W4. AFGL333 is a ~10^4 Msun cloud within W3. This paper presents a study of the star formation activity within AFGL333 using deep JHKs photometry obtained from the NOAO Extremely Wide-Field Infrared Imager combined
more » ... Spitzer-IRAC-MIPS photometry. Based on the infrared excess, we identify 812 candidate young stellar objects in the complex, of which 99 are classified as Class I and 713 are classified as Class II sources. The stellar density analysis of young stellar objects reveals three major stellar aggregates within AFGL333, named here AFGL333-main, AFGL333-NW1 and AFGL333-NW2. The disk fraction within AFGL333 is estimated to be ~50-60%. We use the extinction map made from the H-Ks colors of the background stars to understand the cloud structure and to estimate the cloud mass. The CO-derived extinction map corroborates the cloud structure and mass estimates from NIR color method. From the stellar mass and cloud mass associated with AFGL333, we infer that the region is currently forming stars with an efficiency of ~4.5% and at a rate of ~2 - 3 Msun Myr-1pc-2. In general, the star formation activity within AFGL333 is comparable to that of nearby low mass star-forming regions. We do not find any strong evidence to suggest that the stellar feedback from the massive stars of nearby W4 super bubble has affected the global star formation properties of the AFGL333 region.
doi:10.3847/0004-637x/822/1/49 fatcat:qjxomejrxrfzjncs2cizqwrbea