IPHAS discoveries of young stars towards Cyg OB2 and its southern periphery

J.S. Vink, J.E. Drew, D. Steeghs, Nick Wright, E.L. Martin, B.T. Gansicke, R. Greimel, J. Drake

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We report on the discovery of over 50 strong Hα emitting objects towards the large OB association Cyg OB2 and the H ii region DR 15 on its southern periphery. This was achieved using the INT Photometric Hα Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane (IPHAS), combined with follow-up spectroscopy using the MMT multi-object spectrometer HectoSpec. We present optical spectra, supplemented with optical r′, i′ and Hα photometry from IPHAS, and near-infrared J, H and K photometry from Two Micron All Sky Survey. The position of the objects in the (J−H) versus (H−K) diagram strongly suggests most of them are young. Many show Ca ii infrared triplet emission indicating that they are in a pre-main-sequence phase of evolution of T Tauri and Herbig Ae nature. Among these, we have uncovered pronounced clustering of T Tauri stars roughly a degree south of the centre of Cyg OB2, in an arc close to the H ii region DR 15, and the radio ring nebula G79.29+0.46, for which we discuss its candidacy as a luminous blue variable. The emission-line objects towards Cyg OB2 itself could be the brightest most prominent component of a population of lower mass pre-main-sequence stars that has yet to be uncovered. Finally, we discuss the nature of the ongoing star formation in Cyg OB2 and the possibility that the central OB stars have triggered star formation in the periphery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-318
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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