Sellgren has shown that the young stellar cluster within the molecular cloud associated with the reflection nebula NGC 2023 has a luminosity function consistent with the Salpeter IMF for stars brighter than K = 12 mag; extrapolation predicts that approximately 50 additional stars brighter than K = 15 mag, arguably of spectral types G through K, should be present. However, images of the cluster using a sensitive, two-dimensional, infrared array reveal no additional cluster members, which suggests that either no low-mass stars have formed or that they are still heavily shrouded in molecular "cocoons" left over from the star formation process. We propose a straightforward experimental resolution of the alternatives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Stars: formation
- Stars: pre-main-sequence