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THE STAR FORMATION REGION NGC 6334

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Abstract:

The bright nebular complex NGC 6334 contains some of the most active sites of massive star formation known in our Galaxy. It is located at a distance from the Sun of 1.62 kpc and has a total mass of a few 105M . The physical characteristics of the active spots range widely, from well developed expanding HII regions to deeply embedded, still contracting, young objects detected only as millimeter sources, thus at their earliest observable stage of their evolution. The oldest optically visible round HII regions with central O-type stars are found in the southern parts, and the youngest along a molecular ridge. On the latter, no clear spatial evolutionary correlation is apparent.

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