M. T. Beltran

University of Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (64)167.3 Total impact

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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.
    06/2014;
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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). · 5.52 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).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 08/2013;
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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; · 5.08 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; · 5.08 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; · 5.08 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; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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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; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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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; · 5.08 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).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 11/2012;
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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.
    07/2012;
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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; · 5.08 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). · 5.52 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). · 5.08 Impact Factor
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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; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We made a detailed observational analysis of a well known hot molecular core lying in the high-mass star-forming region G31.41+0.31. This core is believed to contain deeply embedded massive stars and presents a velocity gradient that has been interpreted either as rotation or as expansion, depending on the authors. Our aim was to shed light on this question and possibly prepare the ground for higher resolution ALMA observations which could directly detect circumstellar disks around the embedded massive stars. Observations at sub-arcsecond resolution were performed with the Submillimeter Array in methyl cyanide, a typical hot molecular core tracer, and 12CO and 13CO, well known outflow tracers. We also obtained sensitive continuum maps at 1.3 mm. Our findings confirm the existence of a sharp velocity gradient across the core, but cannot confirm the existence of a bipolar outflow perpendicular to it. The improved angular resolution and sampling of the uv plane allow us to attain higher quality channel maps of the CH3CN lines with respect to previous studies and thus significantly improve our knowledge of the structure and kinematics of the hot molecular core. While no conclusive argument can rule out any of the two interpretations (rotation or expansion) proposed to explain the velocity gradient observed in the core, in our opinion the observational evidence collected so far indicates the rotating toroid as the most likely scenario. The outflow hypothesis appears less plausible, because the dynamical time scale is too short compared to that needed to form species such as CH3CN, and the mass loss and momentum rates estimated from our measurements appear too high.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2011; 533. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. This study is part of a large project to study the physics of accretion and molecular outflows towards a selected sample of high-mass star-forming regions that show evidence of infall and rotation from previous studies. Aims. We wish to make a thorough study at high-angular resolution of the structure and kinematics of the HMCs and corresponding molecular outflows in the high-mass star-forming region G24.78+0.08. Methods. We carried out SMA and IRAM PdBI observations at 1.3 and 1.4 mm, respectively, of dust and of typical high-density and molecular outflow tracers with resolutions of <1". Complementary IRAM 30-m 12CO and 13CO observations were carried out to recover the short spacing information of the molecular outflows. Results. The millimeter continuum emission towards cores G24 A1 and A2 has been resolved into 3 and 2 cores, respectively, and named A1, A1b, A1c, A2, and A2b. All these cores are aligned in a southeast-northwest direction coincident with that of the molecular outflows detected in the region, which suggests a preferential direction for star formation in this region. The masses of the cores range from 7 to 22 Msun, and the rotational temperatures from 128 to 180 K. The high-density tracers have revealed the existence of 2 velocity components towards A1, one of them peaks close to the position of the millimeter continuum peak and of the HC HII region, and is associated with the velocity gradient seen in CH3CN towards this core, while the other one peaks southwest of core A1 and is not associated with any millimeter continuum emission peak. The position-velocity plots along outflow A and the 13CO averaged blueshifted and redshifted emission indicate that this outflow is driven by core A2.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2011; 532. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We obtain velocities along the line of sight to Hi-GAL sources, where possible, using CO data observed with the SEQUOIA receiver on the FCRAO 14m telescope. In the l=30 ° region we use the 13CO J=1-0 data from the BU-FCRAO Galactic Ring Survey (GRS, Jackson et al., 2006ApJS..163..145J) while in the l=59° region we use 13CO and C18O J=1-0 observations obtained as part of the Exeter-FCRAO CO Galactic Plane Survey (Brunt et al., in prep.). (2 data files).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 05/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Direct observations of accretion disks around high-mass young stellar objects would help to discriminate between different models of formation of massive stars. However, given the complexity of massive star forming regions, such studies are still limited in number. Additionally, there is still no general consensus on the molecular tracers to be used for such investigations. Because of its close distance and high luminosity, IRAS 17233-3606 is a potential good laboratory to search for traces of rotation in the inner gas around the protostar(s). Therefore, we selected the source for a detailed analysis of its molecular emission at 230 GHz with the SMA. We systematically investigated the velocity fields of transitions in the SMA spectra which are not affected by overlap with other transitions, and searched for coherent velocity gradients to compare them to the distribution of outflows in the region. Beside CO emission we also used high-angular H2 images to trace the outflow motions driven by the IRAS 17233-3606 cluster. We find linear velocity gradients in many transitions of the same molecular species and in several molecules. We report the first detection of HNCO in molecular outflows from massive YSOs. We discuss the CH3CN velocity gradient taking into account various scenarios: rotation, presence of multiple unresolved sources with different velocities, and outflow(s). Although other interpretations cannot be ruled out, we propose that the CH3CN emission might be affected by the outflows of the region. Higher angular observations are needed to discriminate between the different scenarios. The present observations, with the possible association of CH3CN with outflows in a few thousands AU around the YSOs' cluster, (i) question the choice of the tracer to probe rotating structures, and (ii) show the importance of the use of H2 images for detailed studies of kinematics.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2011; 530. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Hi-GAL, an open time key-project of the Herschel satellite, was awarded 343 hours observing time to carry out a 5-band photometric imaging survey at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 µm of a │b│≤ 1° wide strip of the Milky Way Galactic plane in the longitude range -70° ≤ l ≤ 70°. Two 2° x 2° fields centred at l = 30° and l = 59° have been observed with the SPIRE and PACS photometric cameras in parallel mode during the Herschel science demonstration phase (SDP). From the images, compact sources are extracted for which the distance must be established in order to determine their physical properties. Aims. The aim of this paper is to present the distance determination strategy for the Hi-GAL compact sources. We illustrate this strategy for the two fields at l = 30° and l = 59°. Methods. The first step to determine the distance is to establish the LSR (local standard of rest) velocity of each compact source. The kinematic distance is then determined assuming a rotation curve for our Galaxy. To resolve the distance ambiguity for sources within the solar circle, we adopt a multiwavelength approach combining extinction maps, optical, and near infrared images, and velocity information from NH_3, CO and HI data. When sources can be kinematically linked to optical H II regions, the stellar distance of the exciting stars, when known, can be attributed to all linked sources. Results. In the two 2°x 2° SDP fields, 2678 compact sources have been identified and listed in the band-merged catalogue. About 93% of these sources have been assigned a radial velocity and distance. Conclusions. A multiwavelength approach is necessary to assign the correct velocity to sources (especially when CO spectra have a lot of features) and to determine the distance by solving the distance ambiguity. Also, several Hi-GAL sources seem to be in the interarm region. These sources have to be investigated with dedicated programme to be compared with sources located in the spiral arms.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2011; · 5.08 Impact Factor