The Astrophysical Journal | VOL. 748
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EMISSION MECHANISM OF “GREEN FUZZIES” IN HIGH-MASS STAR-FORMING REGIONS

Publication Date Feb 28, 2012

Abstract

The Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that a number of high-mass protostars are associated with extended mid-infrared emission, particularly prominent at 4.5 μm. These are called "Green Fuzzy" emission or "Extended Green Objects." We present color analysis of this emission toward six nearby (d = 2-3 kpc) well-studied high-mass protostars and three candidate high-mass protostars identified with the Spitzer GLIMPSE survey. In our color-color diagrams, most of the sources show a positive correlation between the [3.6]–[4.5] and [3.5]–[5.8] colors along the extinction vector in all or part of the region. We compare the colors with those of scattered continuum associated with the low-mass protostar L 1527, modeled scattered continuum in cavities, shocked emission associated with low-mass protostars, modeled H2 emission for thermal and fluorescent cases, and modeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission. Of the emission mechanisms discussed above, scattered continuum provides the simplest explanation for the observed linear correlation. In this case, the color variation within each object is attributed to different foreground extinctions at different positions. Alternative possible emission mechanisms to explain this correlation may be a combination of thermal and fluorescent H2 emission in shocks, and a combination of scattered continuum and thermal H2 emission, but detailed models or spectroscopic follow-up are required to investigate this possibility further. Our color-color diagra...

Concepts
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High-mass Protostars
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon
Extended Green Objects
Low-mass Protostar
H2 Emission
Color-color Diagrams
Fluorescent H2 Emission
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emission
Infrared Array Camera
Foreground Extinctions

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