Star Formation Rate and Efficiency in NGC 6334: First Results from Spitzer IRAC and Deep Ground-Based NIR Imaging
Marengo, M., Allen, L., Fazio, G., Bally, J., Bronfman, L., Carey, S., Chavarria, L., Gutermuth, R., Megeath, T., Probst, R., Stringfellow, G.
Studying the Galactic regions with the highest far-infrared luminosities and the highest apparent star formation efficiencies gives us the best local comparison to studying the process of star formation in external galaxies. We combine Spitzer IRAC and deep NEWFIRM J,H,K imaging of several of these regions to probe the population of young stars, from the most massive to below 1Mo. We present results for the first object in our study: NGC 6334, a massive star forming region located at a distance of 1.7kpc with a complex history of star formation at multiple sites across the region. Our preliminary IRAC source catalog contains up to several hundred class I YSOs and over a thousand class II YSOs. Additional YSOs may be added after completing the analysis of our higher resolution and deeper J,H,K images. We will use this source list to examine the spatial distribution of the sources and estimate the star formation rate and the initial mass function for this region.