Massive young stellar objects in the Large Magellanic Cloud: Water masers and ESO-VLT 3-4 μm spectroscopy

J. M. Oliveira, J. Th Van Loon, S. Stanimirović, A. A. Zijlstra

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    We investigate the conditions of star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have conducted a survey for water maser emission arising from massive young stellar objects in the 30 Doradus region (N157) and several other H II regions in the LMC (N 105A, N113 and N160A). We have identified a new maser source in 30 Dor at the systemic velocity of the LMC. We have obtained 3-4 μm spectra, with the European Southern Observatory (ESO)-Very Large Telescope (VLT), of two candidate young stellar objects. N 105A IRS1 shows H recombination line emission, and its Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) and mid-infrared colours are consistent with a massive young star ionizing the molecular cloud. N157B IRS1 is identified as an embedded young object, based on its SED and a tentative detection of water ice. The data on these four H II regions are combined with mid-infrared archival images from the Spitzer Space Telescope to study the location and nature of the embedded massive young stellar objects and signatures of stellar feedback. Our analysis of 30 Dor, N 113 and N160A confirms the picture that the feedback from the massive O- and B-type stars, which creates the H II regions, also triggers further star formation on the interfaces of the ionized gas and the surrounding molecular cloud. Although in the dense cloud N 105A star formation seems to occur without evidence of massive star feedback, the general conditions in the LMC seem favourable for sequential star formation as a result of feedback. In an Appendix, we present water maser observations of the galactic red giants R Doradus and W Hydrae. © 2006 RAS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1509-1524
    Number of pages15
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


    • H II regions
    • Infrared: stars
    • Magellanic clouds
    • Masers
    • Stars: formation
    • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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