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Chains of dense cores in the Taurus L1495/B213 complex

Abstract

(Abridged) We study the kinematics of the dense gas in the Taurus L1495/B213 filamentary region to investigate the mechanism of core formation. We use observations of N2H+(1-0) and C18O(2-1) carried out with the IRAM 30m telescope. We find that the dense cores in L1495/B213 are significantly clustered in linear chain-like groups about 0.5pc long. The internal motions in these chains are mostly subsonic and the velocity is continuous, indicating that turbulence dissipation in the cloud has occurred at the scale of the chains and not at the smaller scale of the individual cores. The chains also present an approximately constant abundance of N2H+ and radial intensity profiles that can be modeled with a density law that follows a softened power law. A simple analysis of the spacing between the cores using an isothermal cylinder model indicates that the cores have likely formed by gravitational fragmentation of velocity-coherent filaments. Combining our analysis of the cores with our previous study of the large-scale C18O emission from the cloud, we propose a two-step scenario of core formation in L1495/B213. In this scenario, named "fray and fragment," L1495/B213 originated from the supersonic collision of two flows. The collision produced a network of intertwined subsonic filaments or fibers ("fray" step). Some of these fibers accumulated enough mass to become gravitationally unstable and fragment into chains of closely-spaced cores. This scenario may also apply to other regions of star formation.Comment: 17 pages, 12 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

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