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Title: THE PARSEC-SCALE ENVIRONMENT AND THE EVOLUTIONARY STATUS OF MWC 349A

We report on a study of the ∼10' (∼5 pc in projection) environs of the peculiar, high-luminosity emission-line star MWC 349A in the IR, radio, and visible domains. Besides the recently discovered X-shaped, arcmin-scale IR nebula centered on MWC 349A ({sup X} nebula{sup )}, with the kinematic age of ∼10{sup 4} yr, we identify several young objects pointing toward an ongoing process of active star formation in this region and estimate some physical parameters of the newly discovered objects. The radiation of the X nebula is due to a geometrically and optically thin dust front heated to T{sub d} ≈ 60-70 K by the radiation of the central star. The bipolar dust front probably results from the interaction of a powerful stellar wind with the circumstellar disk. One of the related objects is an elongated, cold molecular cloud, ∼1 pc in size, adjacent to MWC 349A in projection and having the same radial velocity (V{sub LSR} ≈ +9 km s{sup –1}). The proximity of the molecular cloud may indicate that MWC 349A was born locally rather than being a runaway object ejected from the core of Cyg OB2 several Myr ago. If it is still associated with its natal cloud,more » MWC 349A may be a rare example of the observable pre-main-sequence stage of a ∼30 M{sub ☉} star. If the association with the molecular cloud is an effect of projection, however, MWC 349A may already be an evolved star, even if it was born locally. We discuss future observations that may shed more light on the evolutionary status of this unique object.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Maria Mitchell Observatory, 4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554 (United States)
  2. Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270656
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 777; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; COSMIC DUST; LUMINOSITY; NEBULAE; RADIAL VELOCITY; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STELLAR WINDS