The Top 10 Spitzer Young Stellar Objects in 30 Doradus

Walborn, Nolan R.; Barbá, Rodolfo H.; Sewiło, Marta M.
The Astronomical Journal, Volume 145, Issue 4, article id. 98, 11 pp. (2013).


The most luminous Spitzer point sources in the 30 Doradus triggered second generation are investigated coherently in the 3-8 μm region. Remarkable diversity and complexity in their natures are revealed. Some are also among the brightest JHK sources, while others are not. Several of them are multiple when examined at higher angular resolutions with Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS and WFPC2/WFC3 as available, or with VISTA/VMC otherwise. One is a dusty compact H II region near the far northwestern edge of the complex, containing a half-dozen bright I-band sources. Three others appear closely associated with luminous WN stars and causal connections are suggested. Some are in the heads of dust pillars oriented toward R136, as previously discussed from the NICMOS data. One resides in a compact cluster of much fainter sources, while another appears monolithic at the highest resolutions. Surprisingly, one is the brighter of the two extended "mystery spots" associated with Knot 2 of Walborn et al. Masses are derived from young stellar object models for unresolved sources and lie in the 10-30 M ☉ range. Further analysis of the IR sources in this unique region will advance understanding of triggered massive star formation, perhaps in some unexpected and unprecedented ways.