The Taurus Spitzer Survey: New Candidate Taurus Members Selected Using Sensitive Mid-Infrared Photometry
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We report on the properties of pre-main-sequence objects in the Taurus molecular clouds as observed in seven mid-and far-infrared bands with the Spitzer Space Telescope. There are 215 previously identified members of the Taurus star-forming region in our similar to 44 deg(2) map; these members exhibit a range of Spitzer colors that we take to define young stars still surrounded by circumstellar dust (noting that similar to 20% of the bona fide Taurus members exhibit no detectable dust excesses). We looked for new objects in the survey field with similar Spitzer properties, aided by extensive optical, X-ray, and ultraviolet imaging, and found 148 new candidate members of Taurus. We have obtained follow-up spectroscopy for about half the candidate sample, thus far confirming 34 new members, three probable new members, and 10 possible new members, an increase of 15%-20% in Taurus members. Of the objects for which we have spectroscopy, seven are now confirmed extragalactic objects, and one is a background Be star. The remaining 93 candidate objects await additional analysis and/or data to be confirmed or rejected as Taurus members. Most of the new members are Class II M stars and are located along the same cloud filaments as the previously identified Taurus members. Among non-members with Spitzer colors similar to young, dusty stars are evolved Be stars, planetary nebulae, carbon stars, galaxies, and active galactic nuclei.