Prestellar and protostellar cores in Orion B9*
Observatory, PO Box 14, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 TKK/Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Metsähovintie 114, 02540 Kylmälä, Finland
3 Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
Accepted: 1 April 2009
Context. Dense molecular cores are studied to gain insight into the processes causing clouds to fragment and form stars. In this study, we concentrate on a region that is assumed to represent an early stage of clustered star-formation in a giant molecular cloud.
Aims. We aim to determine the properties and spatial distribution of dense cores in the relatively quiescent Ori B9 cloud, and to estimate their ages and dynamical timescales.
Methods. The cloud was mapped in the 870 μm continuum with APEX/LABOCA, and selected positions were observed in the lines of N2H+ and N2D+ using IRAM-30 m. These were used together with our previous H2D+ observations to derive the degree of deuteration and some other chemical characteristics. Archival far-infrared Spitzer/MIPS maps were combined with the LABOCA map to distinguish between prestellar and protostellar cores, and to estimate the evolutionary stages of protostars.
Results. Twelve dense cores were detected at 870 μm continuum in the Ori B9 cloud. The submm cores constitute ~4% of the total mass of the Ori B9 region. There is an equal number of prestellar and protostellar cores. Two of the submm sources, which we call SMM 3 and SMM 4, are previously unknown Class 0 candidates. There is a high likelihood of the core masses and mutual separations representing the same distributions as observed in other parts of Orion. We found a moderate degree of deuteration in N2H+ (0.03–0.04). There is, furthermore, evidence of N2H+ depletion in the core SMM 4. These features suggest that the cores have reached chemical maturity. We derive a relatively high degree of ionization () in the clump associated with IRAS 05405-0117. The ambipolar diffusion timescales for two of the cores are ~70–100 times longer than the free-fall time.
Conclusions. The distribution and masses of dense cores in Ori B9 are similar to those observed in more active regions of Orion, where the statistical core properties have been explained by turbulent fragmentation. The 50/50 proportions of prestellar and protostellar cores imply that the duration of the prestellar phase is comparable to the free-fall time. However, on the basis of chemical data of the IRAS 05405-0117 region, this timescale could be questioned. A possible explanation is that this survey samples only the densest, i.e., dynamically most advanced cores.
Key words: stars: formation / ISM: clouds / ISM: molecules / radio continuum: ISM / radio lines: ISM / submillimeter
This publication is based on data acquired with the IRAM 30 m telescope and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain). APEX is a collaboration between the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, the European Southern Observatory, and the Onsala Space Observatory.
© ESO, 2009