M. T. Beltran

University of Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (68)176.05 Total impact

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201525953 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular complexity builds up at each step of the Sun-like star formation process, starting from simple molecules and ending up in large polyatomic species. Complex organic molecules (COMs; such as methyl formate, HCOOCH$_3$, dymethyl ether, CH$_3$OCH$_3$, formamide, NH$_2$CHO, or glycoaldehyde, HCOCH$_2$OH) are formed in all the components of the star formation recipe (e.g. pre-stellar cores, hot-corinos, circumstellar disks, shocks induced by fast jets), due to ice grain mantle sublimation or sputtering as well as gas-phase reactions. Understanding in great detail the involved processes is likely the only way to predict the ultimate molecular complexity reached in the ISM, as the detection of large molecules is increasingly more difficult with the increase of the number of atoms constituting them. Thanks to the recent spectacular progress of astronomical observations, due to the Herschel (sub-mm and IR), IRAM and SMA (mm and sub-mm), and NRAO (cm) telescopes, an enormous activity is being developed in the field of Astrochemistry, extending from astronomical observatories to chemical laboratories. We are involved in several observational projects providing unbiased spectral surveys (in the 80-300 and 500-2000 GHz ranges) with unprecedented sensitivity of templates of dense cores and protostars. Forests of COM lines have been detected. In this chapter we will focus on the chemistry of both cold prestellar cores and hot shocked regions, (i) reviewing results and open questions provided by mm-FIR observations, and (ii) showing the need of carrying on the observations of COMs at lower frequencies, where SKA will operate. We will also emphasize the importance of analysing the spectra by the light of the experimental studies performed by our team, who is investigating the chemical effects induced by ionising radiation bombarding astrophysically relevant ices.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aims at characterizing the massive star forming region G35.20N, which is found associated with at least one massive outflow and contains multiple dense cores, one of them recently found associated with a Keplerian rotating disk. We used ALMA to observe the G35.20N region in the continuum and line emission at 350 GHz. The observed frequency range covers tracers of dense gas (e.g. H13CO+, C17O), molecular outflows (e.g. SiO), and hot cores (e.g. CH3CN, CH3OH). The ALMA 870 um continuum emission map reveals an elongated dust structure (0.15 pc long and 0.013 pc wide) perpendicular to the large-scale molecular outflow detected in the region, and fragmented into a number of cores with masses 1-10 Msun and sizes 1600 AU. The cores appear regularly spaced with a separation of 0.023 pc. The emission of dense gas tracers such as H13CO+ or C17O is extended and coincident with the dust elongated structure. The three strongest dust cores show emission of complex organic molecules characteristic of hot cores, with temperatures around 200 K, and relative abundances 0.2-2x10^(-8) for CH3CN and 0.6-5x10^(-6) for CH3OH. The two cores with highest mass (cores A and B) show coherent velocity fields, with gradients almost aligned with the dust elongated structure. Those velocity gradients are consistent with Keplerian disks rotating about central masses of 4-18 Msun. Perpendicular to the velocity gradients we have identified a large-scale precessing jet/outflow associated with core B, and hints of an east-west jet/outflow associated with core A. The elongated dust structure in G35.20N is fragmented into a number of dense cores that may form massive stars. Based on the velocity field of the dense gas, the orientation of the magnetic field, and the regularly spaced fragmentation, we interpret this elongated structure as the densest part of a 1D filament fragmenting and forming massive stars.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; 569. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424032 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424031 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present high spatial resolution (750 AU at 250 pc) maps of the B1 shock in the blue lobe of the L1157 outflow in four lines: CS (3-2), CH3OH (3_K-2_K), HC3N (16-15) and p-H2CO (2_02-3_01). The combined analysis of the morphology and spectral profiles has shown that the highest velocity gas is confined in a few compact (~ 5 arcsec) bullets while the lowest velocity gas traces the wall of the gas cavity excavated by the shock expansion. A large velocity gradient model applied to the CS (3-2) and (2-1) lines provides an upper limit of 10^6 cm^-3 to the averaged gas density in B1 and a range of 5x10^3< n(H2)< 5x10^5 cm^-3 for the density of the high velocity bullets. The origin of the bullets is still uncertain: they could be the result of local instabilities produced by the interaction of the jet with the ambient medium or could be clump already present in the ambient medium that are excited and accelerated by the expanding outflow. The column densities of the observed species can be reproduced qualitatively by the presence in B1 of a C-type shock and only models where the gas reaches temperatures of at least 4000 K can reproduce the observed HC3N column density.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2013; 436(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1559 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: G29.96-0.02 is a high-mass star-forming cloud observed at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500μm as part of the Herschel survey of the Galactic plane (Hi-GAL) during the science demonstration phase. We wish to conduct a far-infrared study of the sources associated with this star-forming region by estimating their physical properties and evolutionary stage, and investigating the clump mass function, the star formation efficiency and rate in the cloud. We have identified the Hi-GAL sources associated with the cloud, searched for possible counterparts at centimeter and infrared wavelengths, fitted their spectral energy distribution and estimated their physical parameters. (3 data files).
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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) Aims. To investigate the first stages of the process of high-mass star formation, we selected a sample of massive clumps previously observed with the SEST at 1.2 mm and with the ATNF ATCA at 1.3 cm. We want to characterize the physical conditions in such sources, and test whether their properties depend on the evolutionary stage of the clump. Methods. With ATCA we observed the selected sources in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) transitions and in the 22 GHz H2O maser line. Ammonia lines are a good temperature probe that allow us to accurately determine the mass and the column-, volume-, and surface densities of the clumps. We also collected all data available to construct the spectral energy distribution of the individual clumps and to determine if star formation is already occurring, through observations of its most common signposts, thus putting constraints on the evolutionary stage of the source. We fitted the spectral energy distribution between 1.2 mm and 70 microns with a modified black body to derive the dust temperature and independently determine the mass. Results. The clumps are cold (T~10-30 K), massive (M~10^2-10^3 Mo), and dense (n(H2)>~10^5 cm^-3) and they have high column densities (N(H2)~10^23 cm^-2). All clumps appear to be potentially able to form high-mass stars. The most massive clumps appear to be gravitationally unstable, if the only sources of support against collapse are turbulence and thermal pressure, which possibly indicates that the magnetic field is important in stabilizing them. Conclusions. After investigating how the average properties depend on the evolutionary phase of the source, we find that the temperature and central density progressively increase with time. Sources likely hosting a ZAMS star show a steeper radial dependence of the volume density and tend to be more compact than starless clumps.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2013; 556. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321456 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Theoretical models suggest that massive stars form via disk-mediated accretion, with bipolar outflows playing a fundamental role. A recent study toward massive molecular outflows has revealed a decrease of the SiO line intensity as the object evolves. The present study aims at characterizing the variation of the molecular outflow properties with time, and at studying the SiO excitation conditions in outflows associated with massive YSOs. We used the IRAM30m telescope to map 14 massive star-forming regions in the SiO(2-1), SiO(5-4) and HCO+(1-0) outflow lines, and in several dense gas and hot core tracers. Hi-GAL data was used to improve the spectral energy distributions and the L/M ratio, which is believed to be a good indicator of the evolutionary stage of the YSO. We detect SiO and HCO+ outflow emission in all the sources, and bipolar structures in six of them. The outflow parameters are similar to those found toward other massive YSOs. We find an increase of the HCO+ outflow energetics as the object evolve, and a decrease of the SiO abundance with time, from 10^(-8) to 10^(-9). The SiO(5-4) to (2-1) line ratio is found to be low at the ambient gas velocity, and increases as we move to high velocities, indicating that the excitation conditions of the SiO change with the velocity of the gas (with larger densities and/or temperatures for the high-velocity gas component). The properties of the SiO and HCO+ outflow emission suggest a scenario in which SiO is largely enhanced in the first evolutionary stages, probably due to strong shocks produced by the protostellar jet. As the object evolves, the power of the jet would decrease and so does the SiO abundance. During this process, however, the material surrounding the protostar would have been been swept up by the jet, and the outflow activity, traced by entrained molecular material (HCO+), would increase with time.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2013; 557. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321589 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on ALMA observations of continuum and molecular line emission with 0.4" resolution towards the high-mass star forming region G35.20-0.74 N. Two dense cores are detected in typical hot-core tracers, such as CH3CN, which reveal velocity gradients. In one of these cores, the velocity field can be fitted with an almost edge-on Keplerian disk rotating about a central mass of 18 Msun. This finding is consistent with the results of a recent study of the CO first overtone bandhead emission at 2.3mum towards G35.20-0.74 N. The disk radius and mass are >2500 au and 3 Msun. To reconcile the observed bolometric luminosity (3x10^4 Lsun) with the estimated stellar mass of 18 Msun, we propose that the latter is the total mass of a binary system.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2013; 552:L10. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321134 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. G29.96-0.02 is a high-mass star-forming cloud observed at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 microns as part of the Herschel survey of the Galactic Plane during the Science Demonstration Phase. Aims. We wish to conduct a far-infrared study of the sources associated with this star-forming region by estimating their physical properties and evolutionary stage, and investigating the clump mass function, the star formation efficiency and rate in the cloud. Methods. We have identified the Hi-GAL sources associated with the cloud, searched for possible counterparts at centimeter and infrared wavelengths, fitted their spectral energy distribution and estimated their physical parameters. Results. A total of 198 sources have been detected in all 5 Hi-GAL bands, 117 of which are associated with 24 microns emission and 87 of which are not associated with 24 microns emission. We called the former sources 24 microns-bright and the latter ones 24 microns-dark. The [70-160] color of the 24 microns-dark sources is smaller than that of the 24 microns-bright ones. The 24 microns-dark sources have lower L_bol and L_bol/M_env than the 24 microns-bright ones for similar M_env, which suggests that they are in an earlier evolutionary phase. The G29-SFR cloud is associated with 10 NVSS sources and with extended centimeter continuum emission well correlated with the 70 microns emission. Most of the NVSS sources appear to be early B or late O-type stars. The most massive and luminous Hi-GAL sources in the cloud are located close to the G29-UC region, which suggests that there is a privileged area for massive star formation towards the center of the G29-SFR cloud. Almost all the Hi-GAL sources have masses well above the Jeans mass but only 5% have masses above the virial mass, which indicates that most of the sources are stable against gravitational collapse. The sources with M_env > M_virial and that ...
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2013; 552. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321086 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The formation of OB-type stars up to (at least) 140 M⊙ can be explained via disk-mediated accretion and in fact growing observational evidence of disk-jet systems is found in high-mass star-forming regions. Aims: With the present observations we wish to investigate at sub-arcsecond resolution the jet structure close to the well studied high-mass protostar IRAS 20126+4104, which is known to be surrounded by a Keplerian disk. Methods: Adaptive optics imaging of the 2.2 μm continuum and H2 and Brγ line emission have been performed with the Large Binocular Telescope, attaining an angular resolution of ~90 mas and an astrometric precision of ~100 mas. Results: While our results are consistent with previous K-band images by other authors, the improved (by a factor ~3) resolution allows us to identify a number of previously unseen features, such as bow shocks spread all over the jet structure. Also, we confirm the existence of a bipolar nebulosity within 1'' from the protostar, prove that the emission from the brightest, SE lobe is mostly due to the H2 line, and resolve its structure. Conclusions: Comparison with other tracers such as masers, thermal molecular line emission, and free-free continuum emission proves that the bipolar nebulosity is indeed tracing the root of the bipolar jet powered by the deeply embedded protostar at the center of the Keplerian disk. Based on observations carried out with the Large Binocular Telescope. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2013; 549:146-. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201220609 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    C. Codella · M. T. Beltran · R. Cesaroni · L. Moscadelli · R. Neri · M. Vasta · Q. Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: We imaged the molecular outflows towards the cluster of high-mass young stellar objects G24.78+0.08 at high-angular resolution using SiO emission, which is considered the classical tracer of protostellar jets. We performed SiO observations with the VLA interferometer in the J = 1-0 v=0 transition and with the SMA array in the 5-4 transition. A complementary IRAM 30-m single-dish survey in the (2-1), (3-2), (5-4), and (6-5) SiO lines was also carried out. Two collimated SiO high-velocity outflows driven by the A2 and C millimeter continuum massive cores have been imaged. On the other hand, we detected no SiO outflow driven by the young stellar objects in more evolved evolutionary phases that are associated with ultracompact (B) or hypercompact (A1) HII regions. The LVG analysis reveals high-density gas (10^3-10^4 cm-3), with well constrained SiO column densities (0.5-1 10^15 cm-2). The driving source of the A2 outflow is associated with typical hot core tracers such as methyl formate, vinyl cyanide, cyanoacetilene, and acetone. The driving source of the main SiO outflow in G24 has an estimated luminosity of a few 10^4 Lsun (typical of a late O-type star) and is embedded in the 1.3 mm continuum core A2, which in turn is located at the centre of a hot core that rotates on a plane perpendicular to the outflow main axis. The present SiO images support a scenario similar to the low-mass case for massive star formation, where jets that are clearly traced by SiO emission, create outflows of swept-up ambient gas usually traced by CO.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 12/2012; 550. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219900 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dissecting an intermediate-mass (IM) protostar
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    ABSTRACT: We present ATCA observations of the H2O maser line and radio continuum at 18.0GHz and 22.8GHz, toward a sample of 192 massive star forming regions containing several clumps already imaged at 1.2mm. The main aim of this study is to investigate the water maser and centimeter continuum emission (likely tracing thermal free-free emission) in sources at different evolutionary stages, using the evolutionary classifications proposed by Palla et al (1991) and Molinari et al (2008). We used the recently comissioned CABB backend at ATCA obtaining images with 20arcsec resolution in the 1.3cm continuum and H2O maser emission, in all targets. For the evolutionary analysis of the sources we used the millimeter continuum emission from Beltran et al (2006) and the infrared emission from the MSX Point Source Catalogue. We detect centimeter continuum emission in 88% of the observed fields with a typical rms noise level of 0.45mJy/beam. Most of the fields show a single radio continuum source, while in 20% of them we identify multiple components. A total of 214 centimeter continuum sources have been identified, likely tracing optically thin HII regions, with physical parameters typical of both extended and compact HII regions. Water maser emission was detected in 41% of the regions, resulting in a total of 85 distinct components. The low angular (20arcsec) and spectral (14km/s) resolutions do not allow a proper analysis of the water maser emission, but suffice to investigate its association with the continuum sources. We have also studied the detection rate of HII regions in the two types of IRAS sources defined by Palla et (1991) on the basis of the IRAS colours: High and Low. No significant differences are found, with large detection rates (>90%) for both High and Low sources. We classify the millimeter and infrared sources in our fields in three evolutionary stages following the scheme presented by ...
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2012; 550. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219890 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Physical parameters of 238 HII regions and 78 water masers detected in 192 fields around IRAS sources. For each observed region the name, type, distance, equatorial and galactic coordinates and synthesized beams at 18.0 and 22.8GHz are given. For the detected centimeter continuum sources the name, coordinates, intensity and size are given, as well as the physical parameters derived assuming the emission comes from optically thin HII regions (size, brightness temperature, electron density, emission measure, mass of ionized gas, Lyman continuum, spectral type of the ionizing source, spectral index). (7 data files).
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    ABSTRACT: The Pipe nebula is a massive, nearby, filamentary dark molecular cloud with a low star-formation efficiency threaded by a uniform magnetic field perpendicular to its main axis. It harbors more than a hundred, mostly quiescent, very chemically young starless cores. The cloud is, therefore, a good laboratory to study the earliest stages of the star-formation process. We aim to investigate the primordial conditions and the relation among physical, chemical, and magnetic properties in the evolution of low-mass starless cores. We used the IRAM 30-m telescope to map the 1.2 mm dust continuum emission of five new starless cores, which are in good agreement with previous visual extinction maps. For the sample of nine cores, which includes the four cores studied in a previous work, we derived a Av to NH2 factor of (1.27$\pm$0.12)$\times10^{-21}$ mag cm$^{2}$ and a background visual extinction of ~6.7 mag possibly arising from the cloud material. We derived an average core diameter of ~0.08 pc, density of ~10$^5$ cm$^{-3}$, and mass of ~1.7 Msun. Several trends seem to exist related to increasing core density: (i) diameter seems to shrink, (ii) mass seems to increase, and (iii) chemistry tends to be richer. No correlation is found between the direction of the surrounding diffuse medium magnetic field and the projected orientation of the cores, suggesting that large scale magnetic fields seem to play a secondary role in shaping the cores. The full abstract is available in the pdf.
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    M. T. Beltran · F. Massi · F. Fontani · C. Codella · R. Lopez
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    ABSTRACT: We have mapped in the 2.7 mm continuum and 12CO with the PdBI the IR-dark "tail" that crosses the IC 1396N globule from south to north, and is the most extincted part of this cloud. These observations have allowed us to distinguish all possible associations of molecular hydrogen emission features by revealing the presence of two well-collimated low-mass protostellar outflows at the northern part of the globule. The outflows are located almost in the plane of the sky and are colliding with each other towards the position of a strong 2.12 microns H2 line emission feature.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2012; 542. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219166 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infrared-dark high-mass clumps are among the most promising objects to study the initial conditions of the formation process of high-mass stars and rich stellar clusters. In this work, we have observed the (3-2) rotational transition of C18O with the APEX telescope, and the (1,1) and (2,2) inversion transitions of NH3 with the Australia Telescope Compact Array in 21 infrared-dark clouds already mapped in the 1.2 mm continuum, with the aim of measuring basic chemical and physical parameters such as the CO depletion factor (fD), the gas kinetic temperature and the gas mass. In particular, the C18O (3-2) line allows us to derive fD in gas at densities higher than that traced by the (1-0) and (2-1) lines, typically used in previous works. We have detected NH3 and C18O in all targets. The clumps possess mass, H2 column and surface densities consistent with being potentially the birthplace of high-mass stars. We have measured fD in between 5 and 78, with a mean value of 32 and a median of 29. These values are, to our knowledge, larger than the typical CO depletion factors measured towards infrared-dark clouds and high-mass dense cores, and are comparable to or larger than the values measured in low-mass pre-stellar cores close to the onset of the gravitational collapse. This result suggests that the earliest phases of the high-mass star and stellar cluster formation process are characterised by fD larger than in low-mass pre-stellar cores. Thirteen out of 21 clumps are undetected in the 24 {\mu}m Spitzer images, and have slightly lower kinetic temperatures, masses and H2 column densities with respect to the eight Spitzer-bright sources. This could indicate that the Spitzer-dark clumps are either less evolved or are going to form less massive objects.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2012; 423(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21043.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    P Frau · J M Girart · M T Beltrán
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    ABSTRACT: We use the new IRAM 30-m FTS backend to perform an unbiased ∼15 GHz wide survey at 3 mm toward the Pipe nebula young diffuse starless cores. We discover an unexpectedly rich chemistry. We propose a new observational classification based on the 3 mm molecular line emission normalized by the core visual extinction (A V). On the basis of this classification, we report a clear differenti-ation between cores in terms of chemical composition and line emission properties, which enables us to define three molecular core groups. The "diffuse" cores, A V < ∼ 15, have a poor chemistry with mainly simple species (e.g. CS and C 2 H). The "oxo-sulfurated" cores, A V 15–22, appear to be abundant in species such as SO and SO 2 , but also in HCO, which seem to disappear at higher densi-ties. Finally, the "deuterated" cores, A V > ∼ 22, have a typical evolved chemistry prior to the onset of the star formation process, with nitrogenated and deuterated species, as well as carbon chain molecules. On the basis of these categories, one of the "diffuse" cores (core 47) has the spectral line properties of the "oxo-sulfurated" ones, which suggests that it is a failed core.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2012; 537(9). DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201118612 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    A. Giannetti · J. Brand · F. Massi · A. Tieftrunk · M. T. Beltran
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    ABSTRACT: The Galactic HII region G353.2+0.9 is excited by the massive open cluster Pismis-24. By analyzing (sub-)mm molecular-line and -continuum we study the detailed morphology of the gas and dust, as well as their physical parameters and their variation across the PDR. We observed various molecules and transitions to derive the physical properties of the molecular gas through line ratios, and both LTE and non-LTE analyses. The physical properties of the gas were derived with a Bayesian approach for the non-LTE analysis. Based on the continuum data at 870 micron, we derived the dust mass and the column density of H2, and thus the molecular abundances. The total mass of the gas in the region is ca. 2000 Mo, while that of the dust is ca. 21 Mo. A velocity gradient in the region suggests that the expansion of the ionized gas is pushing the molecular gas away from the observer. We unambiguously identify the ionization front, at the location of which we detect an increase in gas density and temperature. We find at least 14 clumps at different positions and LSR velocities. We derive kinetic temperatures in the ranges 11-45 K (CS) and 20-45 K (CN). The H2 number density is typically around 1e5 cm^-3 from CS and few 1e5 cm^-3 from CN, with maxima above 1e6 cm^-3. The abundances of the molecules observed vary across the region, and appear to be higher in regions further away from the ionization front.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2011; 538(0004-6361). DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201116774 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

522 Citations
176.05 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2009
    • University of Barcelona
      • Department of Astronomy and Metereology
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008
    • National Institute of Astrophysics
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2003
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1999
    • Instituto De Astrofisica De Andalucia
      Granata, Andalusia, Spain