303 research outputs found

    An Extinction Threshold for Protostellar Cores in Ophiuchus

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    We have observed continuum emission at lambda = 850 microns over ~4 square degrees of the Ophiuchus star-forming cloud using SCUBA on the JCMT, producing a submillimetre continuum map twenty times larger than previous Ophiuchus surveys. Our sensitivity is 40 mJ/beam, a factor of ~2 less sensitive than earlier maps. Using an automated identification algorithm, we detect 100 candidate objects. Only two new objects are detected outside the boundary of previous maps, despite the much wider area surveyed. We compare the submillimetre continuum map with a map of visual extinction across the Ophiuchus cloud derived using a combination of 2MASS and R-band data. The total mass in submillimetre objects is ~ 50 Msun compared with ~ 2000 Msun in observed cloud mass estimated from the extinction. The submillimetre objects represent only 2.5% of the cloud mass. A clear association is seen between the locations of detected submillimetre objects and high visual extinction, with no objects detected at A_V<7 magnitudes. Using the extinction map, we estimate pressures within the cloud from P/k ~2x10^5 cm^-3 K in the less-extincted regions to P/k ~2x10^6 cm^-3 K at the cloud centre. Given our sensitivities, cold (T_d ~15K) clumps supported by thermal pressure, had they existed, should have been detected throughout the majority of the map. Such objects may not be present at low A_V because they may form only where A_V > 15, by some mechanism (e.g., loss of non-thermal support).Comment: 12 pages, 1 figure. Accepted by Astrophysical Journal Letter

    Kompaneets Model Fitting of the Orion-Eridanus Superbubble

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    Winds and supernovae from OB associations create large cavities in the interstellar medium referred to as superbubbles. The Orion molecular clouds are the nearest high mass star-forming region and have created a highly elongated, 20 degree x 45 degree, superbubble. We fit Kompaneets models to the Orion-Eridanus superbubble and find that a model where the Eridanus side of the superbubble is oriented away from the Sun provides a marginal fit. Because this model requires an unusually small scaleheight of 40 pc and has the superbubble inclined 35 degrees from the normal to the Galactic plane, we propose that this model should be treated as a general framework for modelling the Orion-Eridanus superbubble, with a secondary physical mechanism not included in the Kompaneets model required to fully account for the orientation and elongation of the superbubble.Comment: 15 pages, 5 figures, 2 tables, accepted by MNRAS, minor grammatical change

    Filamentary Star Formation: Observing the Evolution toward Flattened Envelopes

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    Filamentary structures are ubiquitous from large-scale molecular clouds (few parsecs) to small-scale circumstellar envelopes around Class 0 sources (~1000 AU to ~0.1 pc). In particular, recent observations with the Herschel Space Observatory emphasize the importance of large-scale filaments (few parsecs) and star formation. The small-scale flattened envelopes around Class 0 sources are reminiscent of the large-scale filaments. We propose an observationally derived scenario for filamentary star formation that describes the evolution of filaments as part of the process for formation of cores and circumstellar envelopes. If such a scenario is correct, small-scale filamentary structures (0.1 pc in length) with higher densities embedded in starless cores should exist, although to date almost all the interferometers have failed to observe such structures. We perform synthetic observations of filaments at the prestellar stage by modeling the known Class 0 flattened envelope in L1157 using both the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA). We show that with reasonable estimates for the column density through the flattened envelope, the CARMA D-array at 3mm wavelengths is not able to detect such filamentary structure, so previous studies would not have detected them. However, the substructures may be detected with CARMA D+E array at 3 mm and CARMA E array at 1 mm as a result of more appropriate resolution and sensitivity. ALMA is also capable of detecting the substructures and showing the structures in detail compared to the CARMA results with its unprecedented sensitivity. Such detection will confirm the new proposed paradigm of non-spherical star formation.Comment: 9 pages, 10 figures. Accepted by Ap