Induced Massive Star Formation in the Trifid Nebula?

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Abstract

The Trifid nebula is a young (105 years) galactic HII region where several protostellar sources have been detected with the infrared space observatory.The sources are massive (17 to 60 solar masses) and are associated with molecular gas condensations at the edges or inside the nebula. They appear to be in an early evolutionary stage and may represent the most recent generation of stars in the Trifid. These sources range from dense, apparently still inactive cores to more evolved sources, undergoing violent mass ejection episodes, including a source that powers an optical jet. These observations suggest that the protostellar sources may have evolved by induced star formation in the Trifid nebula.

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