One phase of formation of medium- and low-mass stars is the optically visible phase known as the pre-main-sequence or PMS phase. In order to further the understanding of this phase, more of these PMS objects need to be identified and classified. Previous techniques have used photometry to identify possible PMS objects by their characteristic Hα emission. Once identified these objects can be studied spectroscopically yielding complete PMS classification. This study develops a method to locate these emission objects that overcomes two limitations of previous techniques. The first limitation is the need for the creation of reddening maps. It is eliminated by the creation of a reddening free Hα wide/narrow index for the selection of emission objects. The second limitation is the requirement of the creation of mosaics to study the entire region of interest. This limitation is overcome by the construction of a wide-angle observation facility. This makes it possible to obtain the entire region of interest in a single frame. Once tested to ensure the validity of the method, the wide-angle Hα wide/narrow procedure is applied to several young open clusters. The development of the index and the results of its application to the clusters are presented. Also, an examination into how the results can be used to address some of the questions currently surrounding the PMS is included. Finally, a guideline for the implementation of the method into future studies is discussed.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy



Date Submitted


Document Type





H alpha, pre-main-sequence, PMS, stellar evolution, emission objects, young open clusters