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Astron. Astrophys. 352, L73-L78 (1999)

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Letter to the Editor

A search for young solar system analogues with the VLT *

Hans Zinnecker 1, Alfred Krabbe 2, Mark J. McCaughrean 1, Thomas Stanke 1, Bringfried Stecklum 3, Wolfgang Brandner 4, Deborah L. Padgett 5, Karl R. Stapelfeldt 6 and Harold W. Yorke 6

1 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 German Aerospace Center, Institute of Space Sensors and Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3 Thüringer Landessternwarte, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
4 University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
5 SIRTF/IPAC-Caltech, Mail Code 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
6 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop 169-506, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

Received 10 September 1999 / Accepted 11 October 1999


The VLT/UT1 telescope has been used with its facility near-IR camera ISAAC to obtain 1-2.5 µm wavelength images at [FORMULA] spatial resolution of six southern young low luminosity sources associated with extended reflection nebulosity. Two are in the Chamaeleon I dark cloud (Cha IR nebula, Cederblad 110 IRS4), and the other four in the Gum Nebula (HH 46/47, CG 30, Re 4, Re 5). Complex structure is seen, including in most cases bipolar blue and red scattering lobes likely due to the illumination of outflow cavities by the central star(s), hidden by a flattened circumstellar disk or envelope. In one object (Re 4), a double jet appears to be emanating from the central source, suggestive of a binary system with nearly aligned disks. These images, when supplemented by polarimetry maps, will help determine the structure and geometry of the young stellar objects, and will also be compared to 3D radiative transfer models to match both the surface brightness distribution of the extended emission and the spectral energy distribution of the central source. Applied to a series of such objects, these analyses will lead to an improved evolutionary sequence for the formation of solar system analogues.

Key words: telescopes – stars: formation – stars: pre-main sequence – ISM: jets and outflows

* Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal (ESO proposal 63.I-0691)

Send offprint requests to: Hans Zinnecker (hzinnecker@aip.de)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: November 23, 1999