July 2013 • 2013ApJ...771..110M
Abstract • We describe the results of a search for early-type stars associated with the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud complex, a diffuse nearby star-forming region noted as lacking young stars of intermediate and high mass. We investigate several sets of possible O, B, and early A spectral class members. The first is a group of stars for which mid-infrared images show bright nebulae, all of which can be associated with stars of spectral-type B. The second group consists of early-type stars compiled from (1) literature listings in SIMBAD, (2) B stars with infrared excesses selected from the Spitzer Space Telescope survey of the Taurus cloud, (3) magnitude- and color-selected point sources from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, and (4) spectroscopically identified early-type stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey coverage of the Taurus region. We evaluated stars for membership in the Taurus-Auriga star formation region based on criteria involving: spectroscopic and parallactic distances, proper motions and radial velocities, and infrared excesses or line emission indicative of stellar youth. For selected objects, we also model the scattered and emitted radiation from reflection nebulosity and compare the results with the observed spectral energy distributions to further test the plausibility of physical association of the B stars with the Taurus cloud. This investigation newly identifies as probable Taurus members three B-type stars: HR 1445 (HD 28929), τ Tau (HD 29763), 72 Tau (HD 28149), and two A-type stars: HD 31305 and HD 26212, thus doubling the number of stars A5 or earlier associated with the Taurus clouds. Several additional early-type sources including HD 29659 and HD 283815 meet some, but not all, of the membership criteria and therefore are plausible, though not secure, members.