H. Beuther

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (245)668.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Understanding the fragmentation and collapse properties of the dense gas during the onset of high-mass star formation. Methods: We observed the massive (~800M_sun) starless gas clump IRDC18310-4 with the Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) at sub-arcsecond resolution in the 1.07mm continuum andN2H+(3-2) line emission. Results: Zooming from a single-dish low-resolution map to previous 3mm PdBI data, and now the new 1.07mm continuum observations, the sub-structures hierarchically fragment on the increasingly smaller spatial scales. While the fragment separations may still be roughly consistent with pure thermal Jeans fragmentation, the derived core masses are almost two orders of magnitude larger than the typical Jeans mass at the given densities and temperatures. However, the data can be reconciled with models using non-homogeneous initial density structures, turbulence and/or magnetic fields. While most sub-cores remain (far-)infrared dark even at 70mum, we identify weak 70mum emission toward one core with a comparably low luminosity of ~16L_sun, re-enforcing the general youth of the region. The spectral line data always exhibit multiple spectral components toward each core with comparably small line widths for the individual components (in the 0.3 to 1.0km/s regime). Based on single-dish C18O(2-1) data we estimate a low virial-to-gas-mass ratio <=0.25. We discuss that the likely origin of these spectral properties may be the global collapse of the original gas clump that results in multiple spectral components along each line of sight. Even within this dynamic picture the individual collapsing gas cores appear to have very low levels of internal turbulence.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201526759 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of our observations of the S255IR area with the SMA at 1.3 mm in the very extended configuration and at 0.8 mm in the compact configuration as well as with the IRAM-30m at 0.8 mm. The best achieved angular resolution is about 0.4 arcsec. The dust continuum emission and several tens of molecular spectral lines are observed. The majority of the lines is detected only towards the S255IR-SMA1 clump, which represents a rotating structure (probably disk) around the young massive star. The achieved angular resolution is still insufficient for conclusions about Keplerian or non-Keplerian character of the rotation. The temperature of the molecular gas reaches 130-180 K. The size of the clump is about 500 AU. The clump is strongly fragmented as follows from the low beam filling factor. The mass of the hot gas is significantly lower than the mass of the central star. A strong DCN emission near the center of the hot core most probably indicates a presence of a relatively cold ($\lesssim 80$ K) and rather massive clump there. High velocity emission is observed in the CO line as well as in lines of high density tracers HCN, HCO+, CS and other molecules. The outflow morphology obtained from combination of the SMA and IRAM-30m data is significantly different from that derived from the SMA data alone. The CO emission detected with the SMA traces only one boundary of the outflow. The outflow is most probably driven by jet bow shocks created by episodic ejections from the center. We detected a dense high velocity clump associated apparently with one of the bow shocks. The outflow strongly affects the chemical composition of the surrounding medium.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2015; 810(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/810/1/10 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Filamentary structures are common in molecular clouds. Explaining how they fragment to dense cores is a missing step in understanding their role in star formation. We perform a case study of whether low-mass filaments are close-to hydrostatic prior to their fragmentation, and whether their fragmentation agrees with gravitational fragmentation models. For this, we study the 6.5 pc long Musca molecular cloud that is an ideal candidate for a filament at an early stage of fragmentation. We employ dust extinction mapping in conjunction with near-infrared data from the NEWFIRM instrument, and 870 um dust continuum emission data from the LABOCA instrument, to estimate column densities. We use the data to identify fragments from the cloud and to determine the radial density distribution of its filamentary part. We compare the cloud's morphology with 13CO and C18O line emission observed with the APEX/SHeFI instrument. The Musca cloud is pronouncedly fragmented at its ends, but harbours a remarkably well-defined, 1.6 pc long filament in its Center region. The line mass of the filament is 21-31 Ms pc^-1 and FWHM 0.07 pc. Its radial profile can be fitted with a Plummer profile that has the power-index of 2.6 \pm 11%, flatter than that of an infinite hydrostatic filament. The profile can also be fitted with a hydrostatic cylinder truncated by external pressure. These models imply a central density of 5-10 x 10^4 cm^-3. The fragments in the cloud have a mean separation of 0.4 pc, in agreement with gravitational fragmentation. These properties, together with the subsonic and velocity-coherent nature of the cloud, suggest a scenario in which an initially hydrostatic cloud is currently gravitationally fragmenting. The fragmentation has started a few tenths of a Myr ago from the cloud ends, leaving its center yet relatively non-fragmented, possibly because of gravitational focusing in a finite geometry.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first study of the relationship between the column density distribution of molecular clouds within nearby Galactic spiral arms and their evolutionary status as measured from their stellar content. We analyze a sample of 195 molecular clouds located at distances below 5.5 kpc, identified from the ATLASGAL 870 micron data. We define three evolutionary classes within this sample: starless clumps, star-forming clouds with associated young stellar objects, and clouds associated with HII regions. We find that the N(H2) probability density functions (N-PDFs) of these three classes of objects are clearly different: the N-PDFs of starless clumps are narrowest and close to log-normal in shape, while star-forming clouds and HII regions exhibit a power-law shape over a wide range of column densities and log-normal-like components only at low column densities. We use the N-PDFs to estimate the evolutionary time-scales of the three classes of objects based on a simple analytic model from literature. Finally, we show that the integral of the N-PDFs, the dense gas mass fraction, depends on the total mass of the regions as measured by ATLASGAL: more massive clouds contain greater relative amounts of dense gas across all evolutionary classes.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424959 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the atomic, molecular and ionized emission of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs), we have initiated a Large Program with the VLA: 'THOR - The HI, OH, Recombination Line survey of the Milky Way'. We map the 21cm HI line, 4 OH lines, 19 H_alpha recombination lines and the continuum from 1 to 2 GHz of a significant fraction of the Milky Way (l=15-67deg, |b|<1deg) at ~20" resolution. In this paper, we focus on the HI emission from the W43 star-formation complex. Classically, the HI 21cm line is treated as optically thin with column densities calculated under this assumption. This might give reasonable results for regions of low-mass star-formation, however, it is not sufficient to describe GMCs. We analyzed strong continuum sources to measure the optical depth, and thus correct the HI 21cm emission for optical depth effects and weak diffuse continuum emission. Hence, we are able to measure the HI mass of W43 more accurately and our analysis reveals a lower limit of M=6.6x10^6 M_sun, which is a factor of 2.4 larger than the mass estimated with the assumption of optically thin emission. The HI column densities are as high as N(HI)~150 M_sun/pc^2 ~ 1.9x10^22 cm^-2, which is an order of magnitude higher than for low mass star formation regions. This result challenges theoretical models that predict a threshold for the HI column density of ~10 M_sun/pc^2, at which the formation of molecular hydrogen should set in. By assuming an elliptical layered structure for W43, we estimate the particle density profiles. While at the cloud edge atomic and molecular hydrogen are well mixed, the center of the cloud is strongly dominated by molecular hydrogen. We do not identify a sharp transition between hydrogen in atomic and molecular form. Our results are an important characterization of the atomic to molecular hydrogen transition in an extreme environment and challenges current theoretical models.
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    ABSTRACT: We want to understand the kinematic and thermal properties of young massive gas clumps prior to and at the earliest evolutionary stages of high-mass star formation. Do we find signatures of gravitational collapse? Do we find temperature gradients in the vicinity or absence of infrared emission sources? Do we find coherent velocity structures toward the center of the dense and cold gas clumps? To determine kinematics and gas temperatures, we used ammonia, because it is known to be a good tracer and thermometer of dense gas. We observed the NH$_3$(1,1) and (2,2) lines within seven very young high-mass star-forming regions with the VLA and the Effelsberg 100m telescope. This allows us to study velocity structures, linewidths, and gas temperatures at high spatial resolution of 3-5$"$, corresponding to $\sim$0.05 pc. We find on average cold gas clumps with temperatures in the range between 10 K and 30 K. The observations do not reveal a clear correlation between infrared emission peaks and ammonia temperature peaks. We report an upper limit for the linewidth of $\sim$1.3 km s$^{-1}$, at the spectral resolution limit of our VLA observation. This indicates a relatively low level of turbulence on the scale of the observations. Velocity gradients are present in almost all regions with typical velocity differences of 1 to 2 km s$^{-1}$ and gradients of 5 to 10 km s$^{-1}$ pc$^{-1}$. These velocity gradients are smooth in most cases, but there is one exceptional source (ISOSS23053), for which we find several velocity components with a steep velocity gradient toward the clump centers that is larger than 30 km s$^{-1}$ pc$^{-1}$. This steep velocity gradient is consistent with recent models of cloud collapse. Furthermore, we report a spatial correlation of ammonia and cold dust, but we also find decreasing ammonia emission close to infrared emission sources.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321269 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The bandwith, sensitivity and sheer survey speed of the SKA offers unique potential for deep spectroscopic surveys of the Milky Way. Within the frequency bands available to the SKA lie many transitions that trace the ionised, radical and molecular components of the interstellar medium and which will revolutionise our understanding of many physical processes. In this chapter we describe the impact on our understanding of the Milky Way that can be achieved by spectroscopic SKA surveys, including "out of the box" early science with radio recombination lines, Phase 1 surveys of the molecular ISM using anomalous formaldehyde absorption, and full SKA surveys of ammonia inversion lines.
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    ABSTRACT: We present new Plateau de Bure Interferometer observations of a region in the filamentary infrared-dark cloud (IRDC) G011.11-0.12 containing young, star-forming cores. In addition to the 3.2mm continuum emission from cold dust, we map this region in the N$_2$H$^+$(1-0) line to trace the core kinematics with an angular resolution of 2" and velocity resolution of 0.2km s$^{-1}$. These data are presented in concert with recent {\em Herschel} results, single-dish N$_2$H$^+$(1-0) data, SABOCA 350$\mu$m continuum data, and maps of the C$^{18}$O (2-1) transition obtained with the IRAM 30m telescope. We recover the star-forming cores at 3.2mm continuum, while in N$_2$H$^+$ they appear at the peaks of extended structures. The mean projected spacing between N$_2$H$^+$ emission peaks is 0.18pc, consistent with simple isothermal Jeans fragmentation. The 0.1pc-sized cores have low virial parameters on the criticality borderline, while on the scale of the whole region, we infer that it is undergoing large-scale collapse. The N$_2$H$^+$ linewidth increases with evolutionary stage, while CO isotopologues show no linewidth variation with core evolution. Centroid velocities of all tracers are in excellent agreement, except in the starless region where two N$_2$H$^+$ velocity components are detected, one of which has no counterpart in C$^{18}$O. We suggest that gas along this line of sight may be falling into the quiescent core, giving rise to the second velocity component, possibly connected to the global collapse of the region.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 573. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424948 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: How do molecular clouds form out of the atomic phase? And what are the relative fractions of carbon in the ionized, atomic and molecular phase? These are questions at the heart of cloud and star formation. Methods: Using multiple observatories from Herschel and SOFIA to APEX and the IRAM 30m telescope, we mapped the ionized, atomic and molecular carbon ([CII]@1900GHz, [CI]@492GHz and C18O(2-1)@220GHz) at high spatial resolution (12"-25") in four young massive infrared dark clouds (IRDCs). Results: The three carbon phases were successfully mapped in all four regions, only in one source the [CII] line remained a non-detection. Both the molecular and atomic phases trace the dense structures well, with [CI] also tracing material at lower column densities. [CII] exhibits diverse morphologies in our sample, from compact to diffuse structures probing the cloud environment. In at least two out of the four regions, we find kinematic signatures strongly indicating that the dense gas filaments have formed out of a dynamically active and turbulent atomic/molecular cloud, potentially from converging gas flows. The atomic-to-molecular carbon gas mass ratios are low between 7% and 12% with the lowest values found toward the most quiescent region. In the three regions where [CII] is detected, its mass is always higher by a factor of a few than that of the atomic carbon. The ionized carbon emission depends as well on the radiation field, however, we also find strong [CII] emission in a region without significant external sources, indicating that other processes, e.g., energetic gas flows can contribute to the [CII] excitation as well.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2014; 571. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424757 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: The initial conditions for the gravitational collapse of molecular cloud cores and the subsequent birth of stars are still not well constrained. The characteristic cold temperatures (about 10 K) in such regions require observations at sub-millimetre and longer wavelengths. The Herschel Space Observatory and complementary ground-based observations presented in this paper have the unprecedented potential to reveal the structure and kinematics of a prototypical core region at the onset of stellar birth. Aims: This paper aims to determine the density, temperature, and velocity structure of the star-forming Bok globule CB 17. This isolated region is known to host (at least) two sources at different evolutionary stages: a dense core, SMM1, and a Class I protostar, IRS. Methods: We modeled the cold dust emission maps from 100 micron to 1.2 mm with both a modified blackbody technique to determine the optical depth-weighted line-of-sight temperature and column density and a ray-tracing technique to determine the core temperature and volume density structure. Furthermore, we analysed the kinematics of CB17 using the high-density gas tracer N2H+. Results: From the ray-tracing analysis, we find a temperature in the centre of SMM1 of 10.6 K, a flat density profile with radius 9500 au, and a central volume density of n(H) = 2.3x10^5 cm-3. The velocity structure of the N2H+ observations reveal global rotation with a velocity gradient of 4.3 km/s/pc. Superposed on this rotation signature we find a more complex velocity field, which may be indicative of differential motions within the dense core. Conclusions: SMM is a core in an early evolutionary stage at the verge of being bound, but the question of whether it is a starless or a protostellar core remains unanswered.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 569. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201322176 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: atl-csc.dat 10163x99 ATLASGAL compact source catalog (table 1)
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    ABSTRACT: In the low-mass regime, it is found that the gas-phase abundances of C-bearing molecules in cold starless cores rapidly decrease with increasing density, as the molecules form mantles on dust grains. We study CO depletion in 102 massive clumps selected from the ATLASGAL 870 micron survey, and investigate its correlation with evolutionary stage and with the physical parameters of the sources. Moreover, we study the gradients in [12C]/[13C] and [18O]/[17O] isotopic ratios across the inner Galaxy, and the virial stability of the clumps. We use low-J emission lines of CO isotopologues and the dust continuum emission to infer the depletion factor fD. RATRAN one-dimensional models were also used to determine fD and to investigate the presence of depletion above a density threshold. The isotopic ratios and optical depth were derived with a Bayesian approach. We find a significant number of clumps with a large fD, up to ~20. Larger values are found for colder clumps, thus for earlier evolutionary phases. For massive clumps in the earliest stages of evolution we estimate the radius of the region where CO depletion is important to be a few tenths of a pc. Clumps are found with total masses derived from dust continuum emission up to ~20 times higher than the virial mass, especially among the less evolved sources. These large values may in part be explained by the presence of depletion: if the CO emission comes mainly from the low-density outer layers, the molecules may be subthermally excited, leading to an overestimate of the dust masses. CO depletion in high-mass clumps seems to behave as in the low-mass regime, with less evolved clumps showing larger values for the depletion than their more evolved counterparts, and increasing for denser sources. The C and O isotopic ratios are consistent with previous determinations, and show a large intrinsic scatter.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2014; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423692 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) is the largest and most sensitive systematic survey of the inner Galactic plane in the submillimetre wavelength regime. The observations were carried out with the Large APEX Bolometer Camera (LABOCA), an array of 295 bolometers observing at 870\,$\mu$m (345 GHz). Aim: In this research note we present the compact source catalogue for the 280\degr\ $ <\ell <$ 330\degr\ and 21\degr\ $ <\ell <$ 60\degr\ regions of this survey. Method: The construction of this catalogue was made with the source extraction routine \sex\ using the same input parameters and procedures used to analyse the inner Galaxy region presented in an earlier publication (i.e., 330\degr\ $ <\ell <$ 21\degr). Results: We have identified 3523 compact sources and present a catalogue of their properties. When combined with the regions already published this provides a comprehensive and unbiased database of ~10163 massive, dense clumps located across the inner Galaxy.
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    ABSTRACT: Numerical simulations have explored the possibility to form molecular clouds through either a quasi-static, self-gravitating mechanism or the collision of gas streams or lower-density clouds. They also quantitatively predict the distribution of matter at the transition from atomic to molecular gases. We aim to observationally test these models by studying the environment of W43, a molecular cloud complex near the tip of the Galactic long bar. Using Galaxy-wide HI and 12CO surveys we searched for gas flowing toward the W43 molecular cloud complex. We also estimated the HI and H2 mass surface densities to constrain the transition from atomic to molecular gas around and within W43. We found 3 cloud ensembles within the position-velocity diagrams of 12CO and HI gases. They are separated by 20km/s along the line of sight and extend into the 13CO velocity structure of W43. Since their velocity gradients are consistent with free-fall, they could be nearby clouds attracted by, and streaming toward, the W43 10^7Msun potential well. We show that the HI surface density, Sigma_HI=45-85Msun/pc2, does not reach any threshold level but increases when entering the 130pc-wide molecular complex previously defined. This suggests that an equilibrium between H2 formation and photodissociation has not yet been reached. The H2-to-HI ratio measured over the W43 region and its surroundings, R_H2~3.5, is high, indicating that most of the gas is already in molecular form in W43 and in structures several hundreds of parsecs downstream along the Scutum-Centaurus arm. The W43 molecular cloud complex may have formed, and in fact may still be accreting mass from the agglomeration of clouds. Already in the molecular-dominated regime, most of these clouds are streaming from the Scutum-Centaurus arm. This is in clear disagreement with quasi-static and steady-state models of molecular cloud formation.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 571. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201323001 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The massive infrared dark cloud G0.253+0.016 projected 45pc from the Galactic centre contains ~10^5Msun of dense gas whilst being mostly devoid of observed star-formation tracers. To scrutinise the physical properties, dynamics and structure of this cloud with reference to its star-forming potential, we have carried out a concerted SMA and IRAM 30m study of this cloud in dust continuum, CO isotopologues, shock tracing molecules, as well as H$_2$CO to trace the gas temperature. We detect and characterise the dust cores within G0.253+0.016 at ~1.3 mm and find that the kinetic temperature of the gas is >320K on size-scales of ~0.15 pc. Analysis of the position-velocity diagrams of our observed lines show broad linewidths and strong shock emission in the south of the cloud, indicating that G0.253+0.016 is colliding with another cloud at v(LSR)~70 km/s. We confirm via an analysis of the observed dynamics in the CMZ that it is an elongated structure, orientated with Sgr B2 closer to the Sun, however our results suggest that the actual geometry may be more complex than an elliptical ring. We find that the column density PDF of G0.253+0.016 is log-normal with no discernible power-law tail, consistent with little star formation, and that its width can be explained in the framework of theory predicting the density structure of clouds created by supersonic, magnetised turbulence. We also present the delta-variance spectrum of this region, and show it is consistent with that expected for clouds with no star formation. Using G0.253+0.016 as a test-bed of the conditions required for star formation in a different physical environment to that of nearby clouds, we also conclude that there is not one column density threshold for star formation, but instead this value is dependant on the local physical conditions. [Abbrv.]
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 568. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423943 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the physical and chemical processes at work during the formation of a massive protostar based on the observation of water in an outflow from a very young object previously detected in H2 and SiO in the IRAS 17233-3606 region. We estimated the abundance of water to understand its chemistry, and to constrain the mass of the emitting outflow. We present new observations of shocked water obtained with the HIFI receiver onboard Herschel. We detected water at high velocities in a range similar to SiO. We self-consistently fitted these observations along with previous SiO data through a state-of-the-art, one-dimensional, stationary C-shock model. We found that a single model can explain the SiO and H2O emission in the red and blue wings of the spectra. Remarkably, one common area, similar to that found for H2 emission, fits both the SiO and H2O emission regions. This shock model subsequently allowed us to assess the shocked water column density, N(H2O)=1.2x10^{18} cm^{-2}, mass, M(H2O)=12.5 M_earth, and its maximum fractional abundance with respect to the total density, x(H2O)=1.4x10^{-4}. The corresponding water abundance in fractional column density units ranges between 2.5x10^{-5} and 1.2x10^{-5}, in agreement with recent results obtained in outflows from low- and high-mass young stellar objects.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 564. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201323343 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Throughout the Milky Way, molecular clouds typically appear filamentary, and mounting evidence indicates that this morphology plays an important role in star formation. What is not known is to what extent the dense filaments most closely associated with star formation are connected to the surrounding diffuse clouds up to arbitrarily large scales. How are these cradles of star formation linked to the Milky Way's spiral structure? Using archival Galactic plane survey data, we have used multiple datasets in search of large-scale, velocity-coherent filaments in the Galactic plane. In this paper, we present our methods employed to identify coherent filamentary structures first in extinction and confirmed using Galactic Ring Survey data. We present a sample of seven Giant Molecular Filaments (GMFs) that have lengths of order ~100pc, total masses of 10$^4$ - 10$^5$M$_{\odot}$, and exhibit velocity coherence over their full length. The GMFs we study appear to be inter-arm clouds and may be the Milky Way analogues to spurs observed in nearby spiral galaxies. We find that between 2 and 12% of the total mass (above ~10$^{20}$ cm$^{-2}$) is "dense" (above 10$^{22}$ cm$^{-2}$), where filaments near spiral arms in the Galactic midplane tend to have higher dense gas mass fractions than those further from the arms.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 568. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423401 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mid- and far-infrared view on high-mass star formation, in particular with the results from the Herschel space observatory, has shed light on many aspects of massive star formation. However, these continuum studies lack kinematic information. We study the kinematics of the molecular gas in high-mass star-forming regions. We complemented the PACS and SPIRE far-infrared data of 16 high-mass star-forming regions from the Herschel key project EPoS with N2H+ molecular line data from the MOPRA and Nobeyama 45m telescope. Using the full N2H+ hyperfine structure, we produced column density, velocity, and linewidth maps. These were correlated with PACS 70micron images and PACS point sources. In addition, we searched for velocity gradients. For several regions, the data suggest that the linewidth on the scale of clumps is dominated by outflows or unresolved velocity gradients. IRDC18454 and G11.11 show two velocity components along several lines of sight. We find that all regions with a diameter larger than 1pc show either velocity gradients or fragment into independent structures with distinct velocities. The velocity profiles of three regions with a smooth gradient are consistent with gas flows along the filament, suggesting accretion flows onto the densest regions. We show that the kinematics of several regions have a significant and complex velocity structure. For three filaments, we suggest that gas flows toward the more massive clumps are present.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 565. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321555 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the chemical evolution of young (high-mass) star-forming regions is a central topic in star formation research. Chemistry is employed as a unique tool 1) to investigate the underlying physical processes and 2) to characterize the evolution of the chemical composition. We observed a sample of 59 high-mass star-forming regions at different evolutionary stages varying from the early starless phase of infrared dark clouds to high-mass protostellar objects to hot molecular cores and, finally, ultra-compact HII regions at 1mm and 3mm with the IRAM 30m telescope. We determined their large-scale chemical abundances and found that the chemical composition evolves along with the evolutionary stages. On average, the molecular abundances increase with time. We modeled the chemical evolution, using a 1D physical model where density and temperature vary from stage to stage coupled with an advanced gas-grain chemical model and derived the best-fit chi^2 values of all relevant parameters. A satisfying overall agreement between observed and modeled column densities for most of the molecules was obtained. With the best-fit model we also derived a chemical age for each stage, which gives the timescales for the transformation between two consecutive stages. The best-fit chemical ages are ~10,000 years for the IRDC stage, ~60,000 years for the HMPO stage, ~40,000 years for the HMC stage, and ~10,000 years for the UCHII stage. The total chemical timescale for the entire evolutionary sequence of the high-mass star formation process is on the order of 10^5 years, which is consistent with theoretical estimates. Furthermore, based on the approach of a multiple-line survey of unresolved data, we were able to constrain an intuitive and reasonable physical and chemical model. The results of this study can be used as chemical templates for the different evolutionary stages in high-mass star formation.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 563. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201322541 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
668.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2002–2012
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Astronomy
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2008
    • Nanjing University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Nan-ching, Jiangsu Sheng, China
    • University of Toledo
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Toledo, Ohio, United States
  • 2002–2006
    • Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany