Thesis Topic: The onset of cluster formation near young high-mass stars
Thesis Supervisor: Willem-Jan De Wit
We performed a NACO survey of massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) assessing the incidence of lower mass objects at angular scales 0:500 < d < 200 during the earliest, deeply embedded, phases of star formation. In previously obtained (raw) VISIR 10 m acquisition images we discovered a surprisingly high number of companions located within the envelopes of their massive sibling (see Wheelwright et al. 2012). These objects are detected for the first time thanks to the 8m aperture and the compactness of the MYSO envelope emission in N-band. The derived statistics will give insight into the origin and frequency of the formation of low-mass objects (i.e. the stellar cluster) during the very early stages of massive star formation, and is a key parameter for understanding disk fragmentation/dynamical interactions/star-capture. These NACO observations will allow us to obtain robust statistics for the rst time and has the potential to differentiate between different formation scenarios.