NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007A-0599

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Proposal Information for 2007A-0599


PI: Tracy L. Huard, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, thuard@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: Radio & Geoastronomy, 60 Garden St., M.S. 42, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.

CoI: Mike Dunham, University of Texas at Austin
CoI: Philip C. Myers, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Neal J. Evans, II, University of Texas at Austin
CoI: Tyler Bourke, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Lionel J. Crews, University of Tennessee at Martin
CoI: David C. Murphy, Carnegie Institute of Washington

Title: Characterization of VeLLOs Embedded in Isolated Cores

Abstract: The Spitzer Space Telescope discovery of L1014-IRS, a mid-IR source with protostellar colors observed toward L1014 (Young et al. 2004), was unexpected since L1014 was previously classified as a starless core. Subsequently, in deep near-IR observations of L1014-IRS, we have detected extended nebulosity similar to that from evacuated cavities around protostars and young stellar objects, helping to resolve previous ambiguities concerning the nature of the source. L1014-IRS is either the youngest low-mass protostar yet detected or the first embedded proto- brown-dwarf observed. Regardless, it represents a new observed class of sources: VeLLOs (Very Low Luminosity Objects). Searching for other VeLLOs and determining their physical properties is crucial for understanding the earliest stage of low-mass star formation and elucidating differences between formation mechanisms for low-mass stars and substellar objects. With the aim of identifying and characterizing a total of ~10 bona-fide VeLLOs, we propose deep near-IR observations for a set of candidates, identified with Spitzer, that will (1) help us discern which candidates are bona-fide VeLLOs as opposed to background galaxies, (2) enable us to reliably estimate the inclination, extent, and structure of their bipolar cavities, and (3) provide a measure of their proximity to the densest parts of the molecular cloud cores by making use of background stars to map the extinction.


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