SiO outflows in high-mass star forming regions: A potential chemical clock?

Astronomy and Astrophysics (Impact Factor: 4.48). 11/2010; 526. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015827
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Some theoretical models propose that O-B stars form via accretion, in a similar fashion to low-mass stars. Jet-driven molecular outflows play an important role in this scenario, and their study can help to understand the process of high-mass star formation and the different evolutionary phases involved. Observations towards low-mass protostars so far favour an evolutionary picture in which jets are always associated with Class 0 objects while more evolved Class I/II objects show less evidence of powerful jets. The present study aims at checking whether an analogous picture can be found in the high-mass case. The IRAM 30-m telescope (Spain) has been used to perform single-pointing SiO(2-1) and (3-2) observations towards a sample of 57 high-mass molecular clumps in different evolutionary stages. Continuum data at different wavelengths, from mid-IR to 1.2 mm, have been gathered to build the spectral energy distributions of all the clumps and estimate their bolometric luminosities. SiO emission at high velocities, characteristic of molecular jets, is detected in 88% of our sources, a very high detection rate indicating that there is ongoing star formation activity in most of the sources of our sample. The SiO(2-1) luminosity drops with L/M, which suggests that jet activity declines as time evolves. This represents the first clear evidence of a decrease of SiO outflow luminosity with time in a homogeneous sample of high-mass molecular clumps in different evolutionary stages. The SiO(3-2) to SiO(2-1) integrated intensity ratio shows only minor changes with evolutionary state. Comment: 12 pages, 10 figures


Available from: A. Noriega-Crespo, Jun 03, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Context. Protostellar jets and outflows are the main outcome of the star formation process, and their analysis can provide us with major clues about the ejection and accretion history of young stellar objects (YSOs). Aims. We aim at deriving the main physical properties of massive jets from near-IR (NIR) observations, comparing them to those of a large sample of jets from low-mass YSOs, and relating them to the main features of their driving sources. Methods.We present a NIR imaging (H2) and Ks ) and low-resolution spectroscopic (0.95-2.50 um) survey of 18 massive jets towards GLIMPSE extended green objects (EGOs), driven by intermediate- and high-mass YSOs, which have bolometric luminosities (Lbol) between 4x10^2 and 1.3x10^5 Lsun. Results. As in low-mass jets, H2 is the primary NIR coolant, detected in all the analysed flows, whereas the most important ionic tracer is [FeII], detected in half of the sampled jets. Our analysis indicates that the emission lines originate from shocks at high temperatures and densities. No fluorescent emission is detected along the flows, regardless of the source bolometric luminosity. On average, the physical parameters of these massive jets (i.e. visual extinction, temperature, column density, mass, and luminosity) have higher values than those measured in their low-mass counterparts. The morphology of the H2 flows is varied, mostly depending on the complex, dynamic, and inhomogeneous environment in which these massive jets form and propagate. All flows and jets in our sample are collimated, showing large precession angles. Additionally, the presence of both knots and jets suggests that the ejection process is continuous with burst episodes, as in low-mass YSOs. We compare the flow H2 luminosity with the source bolometric luminosity confirming the tight correlation between these two quantities. Five sources, however, display a lower L(H2)/Lbol efficiency, which might be related to YSO evolution. Most important, the inferred L(H2) vs. Lbol relationship agrees well with the correlation between the momentum flux of the CO outflows and the bolometric luminosities of high-mass YSOs indicating that outflows from high-mass YSOs are momentum driven, as are their low-mass counterparts. We also derive a less stringent correlation between the inferred mass of the H2 flows and Lbol of the YSOs, indicating that the mass of the flow depends on the driving source mass. Conclusions. By comparing the physical properties of jets in the NIR, a continuity from low- to high-mass jets is identified. Massive jets appear as a scaled-up version of their low-mass counterparts in terms of their physical parameters and origin. Nevertheless, there are consistent differences such as a more variegated morphology and, on average, stronger shock conditions, which are likely due to the different environment in which high-mass stars form.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 12/2014; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423992 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We used PdBI observations of SiO (2-1) to investigate the morphology and profile of the SiO emission within several massive dense clumps (MDCs) in Cygnus-X. We find that most molecular outflows are detected in both SiO and CO, although there are some cases of CO outflows with no SiO counterpart. We find a significant amount of narrow line SiO emission that appears to be unrelated to outflows. The fraction of the total SiO luminosity that is not associated with outflows is highly variable in the different MDCs (from 10% to 90%); this might be a problem when extrapolating outflow properties from SiO luminosities without resolving individual outflows. The extent of the narrow SiO emission varies from rather compact (~ 0.03 pc) to widespread (~0.2 pc), and its kinematics often differs from those found by other high-density tracers such as H13CO+. We find that the least centrally concentrated clumps with the least massive protostellar cores have the most widespread narrow SiO emission. In line with previous evidence of SiO emission associated with low-velocity shocks, we propose an evolutionary picture to explain the existence and distribution of narrow SiO line profiles. In this scenario, the least centrally condensed MDCs are at an early stage where the SiO emission traces shocks from the large-scale collapse of material onto the MDC (e.g. CygX-N40). As the MDC collapses, the SiO emission becomes more confined to the close surroundings of cores, tracing the post-shock material from the infalling MDC against the dense cores (e.g. CygX-N3, N12, and N48). At later stages, when single massive protostars are formed, the SiO luminosity is largely dominated by powerful outflows, and the weaker narrow component shows perhaps the last remnants of the initial collapse (e.g. CygX-N53 and N63).
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2014; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423677 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular outflows are a direct consequence of accretion, and therefore they represent one of the best tracers of accretion processes in the still poorly understood early phases of high-mass star formation. Previous studies suggested that the SiO abundance decreases with the evolution of a massive young stellar object probably because of a decay of jet activity, as witnessed in low-mass star-forming regions. We investigate the SiO excitation conditions and its abundance in outflows from a sample of massive young stellar objects through observations of the SiO(8-7) and CO(4-3) lines with the APEX telescope. Through a non-LTE analysis, we find that the excitation conditions of SiO increase with the velocity of the emitting gas. We also compute the SiO abundance through the SiO and CO integrated intensities at high velocities. For the sources in our sample we find no significant variation of the SiO abundance with evolution for a bolometric luminosity-to-mass ratio of between 4 and 50 $L_\odot/M_\odot$. We also find a weak increase of the SiO(8-7) luminosity with the bolometric luminosity-to-mass ratio. We speculate that this might be explained with an increase of density in the gas traced by SiO. We find that the densities constrained by the SiO observations require the use of shock models that include grain-grain processing. For the first time, such models are compared and found to be compatible with SiO observations. A pre-shock density of $10^5\, $cm$^{-3}$ is globally inferred from these comparisons. Shocks with a velocity higher than 25 km s$^{-1}$ are invoked for the objects in our sample where the SiO is observed with a corresponding velocity dispersion. Our comparison of shock models with observations suggests that sputtering of silicon-bearing material (corresponding to less than 10% of the total silicon abundance) from the grain mantles is occurring.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424251 · 4.48 Impact Factor