The origin of massive O-type field stars

W. J. de Wit, L. Testi, F. Palla, L. Vanzi, H. Zinnecker
2004 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
We present a study aimed at clarifying the birthplace for 43 massive O-type field stars. In this first paper we present the observational part: a search for stellar clusters near the target stars. We derive stellar density maps at two different resolving scales, viz. 0.25pc and 1.0pc from NTT and TNG imaging and the 2MASS catalogue. These scales are typical for cluster sizes. The main result is that the large majority of the O-type field population are isolated stars: only 12% (5 out of 43) of
more » ... he O-type field stars is found to harbour a small-scale stellar cluster. We review the literature and aim at characterizing the stellar field of each O-type field star with the emphasis on star formation and the presence of known young stellar clusters. An analysis of the result of this paper and a discussion of the O-type field population as products of a dynamical ejection event is presented in an accompanying paper.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20040454 fatcat:u2pa3ovnfra6dlcqevwlf3uiim