Journal or Book Title

The Astronomical Journal

Publication Date



We present new Chandra X-ray data of the NGC 1333 embedded cluster and combine these data with existing Chandra data, Spitzer photometry, and ground-based spectroscopy of both the NGC 1333 and Serpens cloud core clusters to perform a detailed study of the X-ray properties of two of the nearest embedded clusters to the Sun. We first present new, deeper observations of NGC 1333 with Chandra ACIS-I and combine these with existing Spitzer observations of the region. In NGC 1333, a total of 95 cluster members are detected in X-rays of which 54 were previously identified in the Spitzer data. Of the Spitzer-identified sources, we detected 23% of the Class I protostars, 53% of the flat-spectrum sources, 52% of the Class II, and 50% of the transition disk young stellar objects (YSOs). Forty-one Class III members of the cluster are identified, bringing the total identified YSO population to 178. The X-ray luminosity functions (XLFs) of the NGC 1333 and Serpens clusters are compared to each other and the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC). Based on a comparison of the XLFs of the Serpens and NGC 1333 clusters to the previously published ONC, we obtain a new distance for the Serpens cluster of 360+22 –13 pc. Using our previously published spectral types, effective temperatures, and bolometric luminosities, we analyze the dependence of the X-ray emission on the measured stellar properties. The X-ray luminosity was found to depend on the calculated bolometric luminosity as in previous studies of other clusters. We examine the dependence of LX on stellar surface area and effective temperature, and find that LX depends primarily on the stellar surface area. In the NGC 1333 cluster, the Class III sources have a somewhat higher X-ray luminosity for a given surface area. We also find evidence in NGC 1333 for a jump in the X-ray luminosity between spectral types of M0 and K7, we speculate that this may result from the presence of radiative zones in the K-stars. The gas column density versus extinction in the NGC 1333 parental molecular cloud was examined using the hydrogen column density determined from the X-ray absorption to the embedded stars and the K-band extinction measured to those stars. In NGC 1333, we find NH = 0.89 ± 0.13 × 1022 AK , this is lower than expected of the standard interstellar medium but similar to that found previously in the Serpens cloud core.


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