The stellar population and complex structure of the bright-rimmed cloud IC 1396N
Fabrizio Massi, Rosario Lopez, Claudio Codella, Josep Miquel Girart, Francesco Fontani
IC 1396N is a bright-rimmed cloud in Cepheus with very active star formation. Previous observations had found clustering of X-ray sources towards the southern rim of the cloud, with an elongated spatial distribution, which has been interpreted as evidence of triggered star-formation by radiation-driven implosion. However, deep near-infrared (NIR) observations at J, H, and K' did not find any evidence of age gradients in the south-north direction in terms of clustering of sources exhibiting a NIR excess at the rim. The H2 emission is complex and knotty and shows a large number of molecular hydrogen features spread over the region, testifying to recent star-formation activity throughout the whole globule. In the case of triggered star formation in the southern rim of the globule, this could be very recent and not yet detectable through NIR imaging alone.