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Deep Imaging Survey of Nearby Star-Forming Clouds

John Bally (University of Colorado)
Bo Reipurth (University of Colorado)


We will conduct a complete deep imaging survey of the nearest star forming regions to assay their content of young stars and stellar outflows, and to probe the structure of the associated molecular clouds. We will obtain deep broad band MOSAIC images in B, V, R, and I (or the equivalent Sloan filters) to characterize the young star population, and Gunn z images to study the more embedded population. We will use the reddening of background stars to estimate the line of sight column density of dust and to compare the stellar and cloud properties with IR and millimeter surveys. Further, we will obtain narrow band images to identify optical outflows, estimate the area and volume filling factors of shock heated gas, probe the shock morphology, provide an archival data base for future proper motion determinations, and determine proper motions of selected previously observed outflows. The combination of broad and narrow band images will be used to identify young stars by their H-alpha emission. The multi-color data will be used to determine intrinsic stellar colors and to separate young stars from background stars. Our survey will probe the distributions, multiplicity, and intrinsic properties of young stars in nearby star forming regions. The data will also provide an archive for all time dependent behaviors in star forming regions and will support future multi-spectral studies including spectroscopy and further imaging at other wavelengths from X-rays to the radio. These studies will ultimately lead to an improved understanding of the origins of the Initial Mass Function, the formation history and evolution of star forming regions, and the star formation process in the Solar vicinity.