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Astron. Astrophys. 320, 159-166 (1997)

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A search for clustering around Herbig Ae/Be stars

Leonardo Testi 1, Francesco Palla 2, Timo Prusti 3, Antonella Natta 2 and Silvia Maltagliati 1

1 Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy
2 Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy
3 Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department, ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Received 13 November 1995 / Accepted 18 September 1996


We present the results of new near-infrared observations of the fields around a sample of 19 Herbig Ae/Be stars. The observations reveal the population of young stars that accompanies the formation of intermediate-mass stars.

The richness of the detected star clusters is investigated. We find a clear dependence of the richness of the cluster on the spectral type of the Herbig Ae/Be star, confirming that the mode of formation of intermediate-mass stars represents the transition between the high-mass and the low-mass modes. In particular, we find that the cluster nature of star formation appears at a significant (i.e. detectable) level for stars of B7 spectral type or earlier.

Key words: stars: formation – stars: pre-main sequence – infrared: stars – open clusters: general

Send offprint requests to: L. Testi

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 3, 1998