Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 1B038

Revealing the full young stellar population in the Carina Nebula, the nearest laboratory of massive star feedback, with VISTA

Zeidler, Peter (Universitäts-Sternwarte München)
Preibisch, Thomas (Universitäts-Sternwarte München)
Ratzka, Thorsten (Universitäts-Sternwarte München)
Gaczkowski, Benjamin (Universitäts-Sternwarte München)
Roccatagliata, Veronica (Universitäts-Sternwarte München)

The Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) represents one of the most massive star forming regions in our Galaxy. With a distance of 2.3 kpc, it has the most extreme stellar population within a few kpc of the sun (at least 65 O-type stars). It is our best connection between the nearby star forming regions like the Orion Nebula and the even larger and extremer, but more distant regions like 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Therefore it is a unique target and our richest nearby laboratory for detailed studies of violent massive star formation and its resulting feedback effects of cloud dispersal and triggered star formation. Our recent Herschel far-infrared survey of the Carina Nebula showed that the cloud complex extends over some 2 × 2.5 deg on the sky. Most of the recent investigations of the Carina Nebula had, however, been focused on the central, ≤ 1 square-degree area of the region, leaving the periphery of the cloud complex poorly studied. In order to solve this problem and to allow a characterization of the young stars throughout the entire extent of the complex, we have used the ESO Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) to map a ∼2 × 3 deg area around the Carina Nebula in the near-infrared J-, H-, Ks bands. Our NIR survey is large enough to cover the full spatial extent of the Carina Nebula complex and is deep enough to detect all young stars down to masses of 0.1 Msun through extinctions of at least Av = 10 mag. We detected in more than ∼ 4 million individual point sources. The data has a typical completeness limit of J ≃ 18, H ≃ 18, and Ks ≃ 17. In combination with a recent Chandra X-ray survey, Spitzer-IRAC, and Herschel observations we have now a sample of data, which reaches from X-ray to the FIR. It will allow us to distinguish between young stars and background contaminating objects and it will allow the identification and characterization of all X-ray selected young stars and the embedded young stellar objects revealed by Herschel.

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