We present an unbiased survey at 1.25-2.2 μm of a 0.025 sq. deg. region surrounding the core of Orion Molecular Cloud 2 (OMC-2). Analysis of the source counts and colors indicates that the majority of the sources brighter than K=+13 are not field stars. They must be members of a young association or associations within the survey area. The K band luminosity function (corrected for field star contamination using model calculations) exhibits a drop in counts at magnitudes fainter than K=+13 (∼0.15L⊙). This is most easily explained by assuming that the association(s) are young. The lowest mass stars simply have not yet reached the main sequence. The distribution of colors across the region shows moderate correlation with molecular gas, but both reddened and unreddened stars are present along most lines of sight. Considerable reflection nebulosity is present in the region of the core cluster of OMC2 itself. Of particular interest are the thin streamers emanating from the star J9, which may be the remnant of a bipolar nebula produced by the star in the recent past.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science