Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser., 184, 172-197 (2009/September-0)
High- and intermediate-mass young stellar objects in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
GRUENDL R.A. and CHU Y.-H.
Abstract (from CDS):
Archival Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) and MIPS observations of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) have been used to search for young stellar objects (YSOs). We have carried out independent aperture photometry of these data and merged the results from different passbands to produce a photometric catalog. To verify our methodology we have also analyzed the data from the SAGE and SWIRE Legacy programs; our photometric measurements are in general agreement with the photometry released by these programs. A detailed completeness analysis for our photometric catalog of the LMC shows that the 90% completeness limits are, on average, 16.0, 15.0, 14.3, 13.1, and 9.2 mag at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0, and 24 µm, respectively. Using our mid-infrared photometric catalogs and two simple selection criteria, [4.5]-[8.0]>2.0 to exclude normal and evolved stars and [8.0]>14-([4.5]-[8.0]) to exclude background galaxies, we have identified a sample of 2910 sources in the LMC that could potentially be YSOs. We then used the Spitzer observations complemented by optical and near-infrared data to carefully assess the nature of each source. To do so we simultaneously considered multiwavelength images and photometry to assess the source morphology, spectral energy distribution (SED) from the optical through the mid-infrared wavelengths, and the surrounding interstellar environment to determine the most likely nature of each source. From this examination of the initial sample, we suggest that 1172 sources are most likely YSOs. We have also identified 1075 probable background galaxies, consistent with the expected number estimated from the SWIRE survey. Spitzer IRS observations of 269 of the brightest YSOs from our sample have confirmed that ≳95% are indeed YSOs. An examination of color-color and color-magnitude diagrams shows no simple criteria in color-magnitude space that can unambiguously separate the LMC YSOs from all asymptotic giant branch (AGB)/post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae, and background galaxies. A comprehensive search for YSOs in the LMC has also been carried out by the SAGE team and reported by Whitney et al. There are three major differences between these two searches. (1) In the common region of color-magnitude space, ∼850 of our 1172 probable YSOs are missed in the SAGE YSO catalog because their conservative point-source identification criteria have excluded YSOs superposed on complex stellar and interstellar environments. (2) About 20%-30% of the YSOs identified by the SAGE team are sources we classify as background galaxies. (3) The SAGE YSO catalog identifies YSO in parts of color-magnitude space that we excluded and thus contains more evolved or fainter YSOs missed by our analysis. The shortcomings and strengths of both these YSO catalogs should be considered prior to statistical studies of star formation in the LMC. Finally, the mid-infrared luminosity functions in the IRAC bands of our most likely YSO candidates in the LMC can be well described by N(L) ∝ L–1, which is consistent with the Salpeter initial mass function if a mass-luminosity relation of L ∝ M 2.4 is adopted.
infrared: general - Magellanic Clouds - stars: formation - surveys
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJS/184/172): table4.dat table5.dat table6.dat table7.dat table8.dat table9.dat table10.dat table11.dat table12.dat>
Tables 4-12: [GC2009] JHHMMSS.ss+DDMMSS.s N=2870.
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