PI: Guy Stringfellow, University of Colorado, Guy.Stringfellow@colorado.edu
Address: Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0389, USA
CoI: John Bally, University of Colorado
CoI: Ron Probst, NOAO
CoI: Lori Allen, NOAO
Title: A Deep Emission Line Study of the \rho Ophiuchus Cloud
Abstract: The extent of our knowledge of the nearest star forming regions is limited by the inability to survey the entire clouds to great depths. Though nearby, they contain regions of heavy extinction, often exceeding A_V of 20 mag, which is opaque at optical wavelengths. The small detector area of previous generations of near-infrared cameras prohibited extensive coverage. With NEWFIRM, this is no longer the case. We propose to observe a 7.75 square degree region in Ophiuchus centered on the L1688 (\rho Oph), L1689, and L1709 regions in H_2 and the JHK_s filters. This will be the deepest survey yet conducted in these filters around rho Oph covering such a large area uniformly. H_2 traces shocks produced by outflows driven by accreting young stellar objects (YSOs). The JHK_s imaging, when combined with \it Spitzer and \it Herschel data, allow construction of the IMF deep into the substellar domain to a few Jupiter masses, enables classification of the YSOs and the presence of disks, and creation of extinction maps 4-5 magnitudes deeper than constructed using 2MASS data. The Ophiuchus cloud provides the keystone upon which the progression to Orion, the outer Galaxy, and extragalactic massive star forming regions can be understood.
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