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The Ionization of Accretion Flows in High Mass Star Formation:

By Eric Keto and Pamela Klaassen


Previous observations show that the hypercompact HII region W51e2 is surrounded by a massive molecular accretion flow centered on the HII region. New observations of the H53α radio recombination line made with the VLA at 0.45 arc second angular resolution show a velocity gradient in the ionized gas within the HII region of> 500 kms−1 pc −1 comparable to the velocity gradient seen in the molecular accretion flow. New CO line observations made with the SMA at arc second angular resolution detect a molecular bipolar outflow immediately around the W51e2 HII region and extending along the axis of rotation of the molecular flow. These observations are consistent with an evolutionary phase for high mass star formation in which a newly formed massive star first begins to ionize its surroundings including its own accretion flow. Subject headings: HII Regions 1

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