The circumstellar environment of low-mass protostars: A millimeter continuum mapping survey*
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 CEA, DSM, DAPNIA, Service d'Astrophysique, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Corresponding author: F. Motte, email@example.com
Accepted: 5 September 2000
We present a complete 1.3 mm continuum mapping survey of the embedded young stellar objects (YSOs) in the Taurus molecular cloud. We have also imaged several isolated Bok globules, as well as protostellar objects in the Perseus cluster. Our maps, taken with the IRAM 30 m telescope and the MPIfR bolometer arrays, are sensitive to the column density structure of the sources on spatial scales ranging from 1 500-5 000 AU to > 15 000-50 000 AU. For the protostellar envelopes mapped in Taurus, the results are roughly consistent with the predictions of the self-similar inside-out collapse model of Shu and collaborators. The envelopes observed in Bok globules are also qualitatively consistent with these predictions, providing the effects of magnetic pressure are included in the model. By contrast, the envelopes of Class 0 protostars in Perseus have finite radii ≾ 10 000 AU and are a factor of 3 to 12 denser than is predicted by the standard model. In cluster-forming regions, individual protostellar collapse thus appears to be induced in compact condensations resembling more finite-sized Bonnor-Ebert condensations than singular isothermal spheres. Accordingly, the beginning of protostellar evolution is suggested to be more violent, with larger accretion rates, in protoclusters compared to regions of distributed star formation like Taurus. Follow-up line observations of the envelopes' velocity fields are required to confirm this suggestion. We also find that roughly half of the Class I infrared sources of Taurus are either at the very end of the main accretion phase or already in the pre-main sequence phase. These sources are surrounded by only remnant, finite-sized envelopes (Menv4200 AU ≾ 0.01 M⊙ and Rout ≾ 1 500 AU). Lastly, our 1.3 mm continuum images reveal the presence of new candidate pre-stellar condensations and/or Class 0 protostars in the close environment of 8 Taurus Class I YSOs, 2 Bok globules, and 3 Perseus protostars.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: circumstellar matter / ISM: clouds / ISM: structure / ISM: dust
© ESO, 2001