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Ronald Snell

Research Interests: Star Formation

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The dense cores of molecular clouds are the sites of star formation in the Milky Way. Millimeter and submillimeter wavelength spectroscopy are used to probe the molecular gas, while far-infrared data obtained by IRAS and MMX and near-infrared images obtained from ground-based telescopes and from 2MASS probe the star formation activity. Combining these data, one can probe the relationship between the dense molecular gas and the newly formed stars. The near-infrared data can also be used to study the embedded population of young stars. The availability of the 2MASS data, which provides near-infrared images of the entire sky, will revolutionize our understanding of the star formation activity in the Milky Way. Below is shown K'-band images of several star forming cores in far-outer Galaxy molecular clouds. The infrared images were obtained with the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope at Mauna Kea. These images reveal clusters of newly formed stars. These molecular clouds are located at Galactic center distances of 13.5 to 17.3 Kpc.

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