32 research outputs found

    Formation and evolution of interstellar filaments; Hints from velocity dispersion measurements

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    We investigate the gas velocity dispersions of a sample of filaments recently detected as part of the Herschel Gould Belt Survey in the IC5146, Aquila, and Polaris interstellar clouds. To measure these velocity dispersions, we use 13CO, C18O, and N2H+ line observations obtained with the IRAM 30m telescope. Correlating our velocity dispersion measurements with the filament column densities derived from Herschel data, we show that interstellar filaments can be divided into two regimes: thermally subcritical filaments, which have transonic velocity dispersions (c_s ~< \sigma_tot < 2 c_s) independent of column density, and are gravitationally unbound; and thermally supercritical filaments, which have higher velocity dispersions scaling roughly as the square root of column density (\sigma_tot ~ \Sigma^0.5), and are self-gravitating. The higher velocity dispersions of supercritical filaments may not directly arise from supersonic interstellar turbulence but may be driven by gravitational contraction/accretion. Based on our observational results, we propose an evolutionary scenario whereby supercritical filaments undergo gravitational contraction and increase in mass per unit length through accretion of background material while remaining in rough virial balance. We further suggest that this accretion process allows supercritical filaments to keep their approximately constant inner widths (~ 0.1 pc) while contracting.Comment: 16 pages, 8 figures, 1 table, 1 appendix. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    The formation of active protoclusters in the Aquila Rift: A millimeter continuum view

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    Abridged -- We present an analysis of the Aquila Rift complex which addresses the questions of the star formation rate (SFR), star formation efficiency (SFE) and typical lifetime of the Class 0 protostellar phase in two nearby cluster-forming clumps: the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters. We carried out a 1.2 mm dust continuum mapping of the Aquila Rift complex with the MAMBO bolometer array on the IRAM 30m telescope. We perform a systematic source extraction in our millimeter continuum map. Based on complementary data from the Herschel Gould Belt survey and Spitzer maps, we characterize the SEDs of the 77 mm continuum sources detected with MAMBO and estimate their evolutionary stages. Taking advantage of the comprehensive dataset available for the Serpens South region, spanning wavelengths from 2 microns to 1.2 mm, we estimate the numbers of young stellar objects (YSOs) at different evolutionary stages and find a ratio of Class 0 to Class I protostars N(0)/N(I)=0.19-0.27. This low ratio supports a scenario of relatively fast accretion at the beginning of the protostellar phase, and leads to a Class 0 lifetime of ~4-9x10^{4} yr. We also show that both the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters are characterized by large fractions of protostars and high SFRs ~20-50 Msun.Myr^{-1}pc^{-2}, in agreement with the idea that these two nearby clumps are active sites of clustered star formation currently undergoing bursts of star formation, and have the potential ability to form bound star clusters. While the formation of these two protoclusters is likely to have been initiated in a very different manner, the resulting protostellar populations are observed to be very similar. This suggests that after the onset of gravitational collapse, the detailed manner in which the collapse has been initiated does not affect much the ability of a clump to form stars.Comment: 11 pages, 5 figures. Abstract has been shortened. Accepted for publication in A&A. Final version including corrections in section 4.1.2. Table 1 available upon request, contact the author

    SPIRE Map-Making Test Report

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    The photometer section of SPIRE is one of the key instruments on board of Herschel. Its legacy depends very much on how well the scanmap observations that it carried out during the Herschel mission can be converted to high quality maps. In order to have a comprehensive assessment on the current status of SPIRE map-making, as well as to provide guidance for future development of the SPIRE scan-map data reduction pipeline, we carried out a test campaign on SPIRE map-making. In this report, we present results of the tests in this campaign.Comment: This document has an executive summary, 6 chapters, and 102 pages. More information can be found at: https://nhscsci.ipac.caltech.edu/sc/index.php/Spire/SPIREMap-MakingTest201

    A First Look at the Auriga-California Giant Molecular Cloud With Herschel and the CSO: Census of the Young Stellar Objects and the Dense Gas

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    We have mapped the Auriga/California molecular cloud with the Herschel PACS and SPIRE cameras and the Bolocam 1.1 mm camera on the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) with the eventual goal of quantifying the star formation and cloud structure in this Giant Molecular Cloud (GMC) that is comparable in size and mass to the Orion GMC, but which appears to be forming far fewer stars. We have tabulated 60 compact 70/160um sources that are likely pre-main-sequence objects and correlated those with Spitzer and WISE mid-IR sources. At 1.1 mm we find 18 cold, compact sources and discuss their properties. The most important result from this part of our study is that we find a modest number of additional compact young objects beyond those identified at shorter wavelengths with Spitzer. We also describe the dust column density and temperature structure derived from our photometric maps. The column density peaks at a few x 10^22 cm^-2 (N_H2) and is distributed in a clear filamentary structure along which nearly all the pre-main-sequence objects are found. We compare the YSO surface density to the gas column density and find a strong non-linear correlation between them. The dust temperature in the densest parts of the filaments drops to ~10K from values ~ 14--15K in the low density parts of the cloud. We also derive the cumulative mass fraction and probability density function of material in the cloud which we compare with similar data on other star-forming clouds.Comment: in press Astrophysical Journal, 201

    The JCMT BISTRO Survey: Multi-wavelength polarimetry of bright regions in NGC 2071 in the far-infrared/submillimetre range, with POL-2 and HAWC+

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    Polarized dust emission is a key tracer in the study of interstellar medium and of star formation. The observed polarization, however, is a product of magnetic field structure, dust grain properties and grain alignment efficiency, as well as their variations in the line of sight, making it difficult to interpret polarization unambiguously. The comparison of polarimetry at multiple wavelengths is a possible way of mitigating this problem. We use data from HAWC+/SOFIA and from SCUBA-2/POL-2 (from the BISTRO survey) to analyse the NGC 2071 molecular cloud at 154, 214 and 850 μm. The polarization angle changes significantly with wavelength over part of NGC 2071, suggesting a change in magnetic field morphology on the line of sight as each wavelength best traces different dust populations. Other possible explanations are the existence of more than one polarization mechanism in the cloud or scattering from very large grains. The observed change of polarization fraction with wavelength, and the 214-to-154 μm polarization ratio in particular, are difficult to reproduce with current dust models under the assumption of uniform alignment efficiency. We also show that the standard procedure of using monochromatic intensity as a proxy for column density may produce spurious results at HAWC+ wavelengths. Using both long-wavelength (POL-2, 850 μm) and short-wavelength (HAWC+, ≲200μm) polarimetry is key in obtaining these results. This study clearly shows the importance of multi-wavelength polarimetry at submillimeter bands to understand the dust properties of molecular clouds and the relationship between magnetic field and star formation

    The census of dense cores in the Serpens region from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey

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    Abstract The Herschel Gould Belt survey mapped the nearby (d &amp;lt; 500 pc) star-forming regions to understand better how the prestellar phase influences the star formation process. Here we report a complete census of dense cores in a ∼15 deg2 area of the Serpens star-forming region located between d ∼ 420 pc and 484 pc. The PACS and SPIRE cameras imaged this cloud from 70 μm to 500 μm. With the multi-wavelength source extraction algorithm getsources , we extract 833 sources, of which 709 are starless cores and 124 are candidate proto-stellar cores. We obtain temperatures and masses for all the sample, classifying the starless cores in 604 prestellar cores and 105 unbound cores. Our census of sources is 80%80\% complete for M &amp;gt; 0.8 M⊙ overall. We produce the core mass function (CMF) and compare it with the initial mass function (IMF). The prestellar CMF is consistent with log-normal trend up to ∼2 M⊙, after which it follows a power-law with slope of −2.05 ± 0.34. The tail of its CMF is steeper but still compatible with the IMF for the region we studied in this work. We also extract the filaments network of the Serpens region, finding that 81%81\% of prestellar cores lie on filamentary structures. The spatial association between cores and filamentary structure supports the paradigm, suggested by other Herschel observations, that prestellar cores mostly form on filaments. Serpens is confirmed to be a young, low-mass and active star-forming region

    The accretion history of high-mass stars: An ArTéMiS pilot study of Infrared Dark Clouds

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    The mass growth of protostars is a central element to the determination of fundamental stellar population properties such as the initial mass function. Constraining the accretion history of individual protostars is therefore an important aspect of star formation research. The goal of the study presented here is to determine whether high-mass (proto)stars gain their mass from a compact (&amp;lt;0.1 pc) fixed-mass reservoir of gas, often referred to as dense cores, in which they are embedded, or whether the mass growth of high-mass stars is governed by the dynamical evolution of the parsec-scale clump that typically surrounds them. To achieve this goal, we performed a 350μm continuum mapping of 11 infrared dark clouds, along side some of their neighbouring clumps, with the ArTéMiS camera on APEX. By identifying about 200 compact ArTéMiS sources, and matching them with Herschel Hi-GAL 70μm sources, we have been able to produce mass vs. temperature diagrams. We compare the nature (i.e. starless or protostellar) and location of the ArTéMiS sources in these diagrams with modelled evolutionary tracks of both core-fed and clump-fed accretion scenarios. We argue that the latter provide a better agreement with the observed distribution of high-mass star-forming cores. However, a robust and definitive conclusion on the question of the accretion history of high-mass stars requires larger number statistics

    Changes of dust opacity with density in the Orion A molecular cloud

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    We have studied the opacity of dust grains at submillimeter wavelengths by estimating the optical depth from imaging at 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey and comparing this to a column density obtained from the Two Micron All Sky Survey derived color excess E(J – Ks). Our main goal was to investigate the spatial variations of the opacity due to "big" grains over a variety of environmental conditions and thereby quantify how emission properties of the dust change with column (and volume) density. The central and southern areas of the Orion A molecular cloud examined here, with NH ranging from 1.5 × 1021 cm–2 to 50 × 1021 cm–2, are well suited to this approach. We fit the multi-frequency Herschel spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of each pixel with a modified blackbody to obtain the temperature, T, and optical depth, τ1200, at a fiducial frequency of 1200 GHz (250 μm). Using a calibration of NH/E(J – Ks ) for the interstellar medium (ISM) we obtained the opacity (dust emission cross-section per H nucleon), σe(1200), for every pixel. From a value ~1 × 10–25 cm2 H–1 at the lowest column densities that is typical of the high-latitude diffuse ISM, σe(1200) increases as N 0.28H over the range studied. This is suggestive of grain evolution. Integrating the SEDs over frequency, we also calculated the specific power P (emission power per H) for the big grains. In low column density regions where dust clouds are optically thin to the interstellar radiation field (ISRF), P is typically 3.7 × 10–31 W H–1, again close to that in the high-latitude diffuse ISM. However, we find evidence for a decrease of P in high column density regions, which would be a natural outcome of attenuation of the ISRF that heats the grains, and for localized increases for dust illuminated by nearby stars or embedded protostars

    A catalogue of dense cores and young stellar objects in the Lupus complex based on Herschel Gould Belt Survey observations

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    Context. How the diffuse medium of molecular clouds condenses in dense cores and how many of these cores will evolve in protostars is still a poorly understood step of the star formation process. Much progress is being made in this field, thanks to the extensive imaging of star-forming regions carried out with the Herschel Space Observatory. Aims. The Herschel Gould Belt Survey key project mapped the bulk of nearby star-forming molecular clouds in five far-infrared bands with the aim of compiling complete census of prestellar cores and young, embedded protostars. From the complete sample of prestellar cores, we aim at defining the core mass function and studying its relationship with the stellar initial mass function. Young stellar objects (YSOs) with a residual circumstellar envelope are also detected. Methods. In this paper, we present the catalogue of the dense cores and YSOs/protostars extracted from the Herschel maps of the Lupus I, III, and IV molecular clouds. The physical properties of the detected objects were derived by fitting their spectral energy distributions. Results. A total of 532 dense cores, out of which 103 are presumably prestellar in nature, and 38 YSOs/protostars have been detected in the three clouds. Almost all the prestellar cores are associated with filaments against only about one third of the unbound cores and YSOs/protostars. Prestellar core candidates are found even in filaments that are on average thermally subcritical and over a background column density lower than that measured in other star-forming regions so far. The core mass function of the prestellar cores peaks between 0.2 and 0.3 M⊙, and it is compatible with the log-normal shape found in other regions. Herschel data reveal several, previously undetected, protostars and new candidates of Class 0 and Class II with transitional disks. We estimate the evolutionary status of the YSOs/protostars using two independent indicators: the α index and the fitting of the spectral energy distribution from near- to far-infrared wavelengths. For 70% of the objects, the evolutionary stages derived with the two methods are in agreement. Conclusions. Lupus is confirmed to be a very low-mass star-forming region, in terms of both the prestellar condensations and the diffuse medium. Noticeably, in the Lupus clouds we have found star formation activity associated with interstellar medium at low column density, usually quiescent in other (more massive) star-forming regions

    The JCMT BISTRO Survey: multiwavelength polarimetry of bright regions in NGC 2071 in the far-infrared/submillimetre range, with POL-2 and HAWC+

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    Polarized dust emission is a key tracer in the study of interstellar medium and of star formation. The observed polarization, however, is a product of magnetic field structure, dust grain properties, and grain alignment efficiency, as well as their variations in the line of sight, making it difficult to interpret polarization unambiguously. The comparison of polarimetry at multiple wavelengths is a possible way of mitigating this problem. We use data from HAWC+ /SOFIA and from SCUBA-2/POL-2 (from the BISTRO survey) to analyse the NGC 2071 molecular cloud at 154, 214, and 850 μm. The polarization angle changes significantly with wavelength over part of NGC 2071, suggesting a change in magnetic field morphology on the line of sight as each wavelength best traces different dust populations. Other possible explanations are the existence of more than one polarization mechanism in the cloud or scattering from very large grains. The observed change of polarization fraction with wavelength, and the 214-to-154 μm polarization ratio in particular, are difficult to reproduce with current dust models under the assumption of uniform alignment efficiency. We also show that the standard procedure of using monochromatic intensity as a proxy for column density may produce spurious results at HAWC+wavelengths. Using both long-wavelength (POL-2, 850 μm) and short-wavelength (HAWC+, ≲200μm) polarimetry is key in obtaining these results. This study clearly shows the importance of multi-wavelength polarimetry at submillimetre bands to understand the dust properties of molecular clouds and the relationship between magnetic field and star formation
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