Letter to the Editor
The physical properties of the dust in the RCW 120 H ii region as seen by Herschel *
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110 CNRS & Université de Provence), 38 rue F.
Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, UMR 8617, CNRS/Université Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay, France
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
4 CEA, Laboratoire AIM, Irfu/SAp, Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
5 CESR, Université de Toulouse (UPS), CNRS, UMR 5187, 9 avenue du colonel Roche, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
6 Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H8, Canada
7 CNRS/INSU, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, UMR 5804, BP 89, 33271 Floirac cedex, France
8 University of California, Radio Astronomy Laboratory, Berkeley, 601 Campbell Hall, US Berkeley CA 94720-3411, USA
9 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint-Martin d'Hères, France
10 National Astronomical Observatories, PR China
11 The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot OX11 0QX, UK
12 Blue Sky Spectrosocpy Inc, Lethbridge, Canada
13 Institute for Space Imaging Science, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada
14 Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, INAF, via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
15 NASA - Goddard SFC, USA
16 Department of Physics & Astronomy, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
Accepted: 30 April 2010
Context. RCW 120 is a well-studied, nearby Galactic H ii region with ongoing star formation in its surroundings. Previous work has shown that it displays a bubble morphology at mid-infrared wavelengths, and has a massive layer of collected neutral material seen at sub-mm wavelengths. Given the well-defined photo-dissociation region (PDR) boundary and collected layer, it is an excellent laboratory to study the “collect and collapse” process of triggered star formation. Using Herschel Space Observatory data at 100, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm, in combination with Spitzer and APEX-LABOCA data, we can for the first time map the entire spectral energy distribution of an H ii region at high angular resolution.
Aims. We seek a better understanding of RCW 120 and its local environment by analysing its dust temperature distribution. Additionally, we wish to understand how the dust emissivity index, β, is related to the dust temperature.
Methods. We determine dust temperatures in selected regions of the RCW 120 field by fitting their spectral energy distribution (SED), derived using aperture photometry. Additionally, we fit the SED extracted from a grid of positions to create a temperature map.
Results. We find a gradient in dust temperature, ranging from 30 K in the interior of RCW 120, to ~20 K for the material collected in the PDR, to ~10 K toward local infrared dark clouds and cold filaments. There is an additional, hotter (~100 K) component to the dust emission that we do not investigate here. Our results suggest that RCW 120 is in the process of destroying the PDR delineating its bubble morphology. The leaked radiation from its interior may influence the creation of the next generation of stars. We find support for an anti-correlation between the fitted temperature and β, in rough agreement with what has been found previously. The extended wavelength coverage of the Herschel data greatly increases the reliability of this result.
Key words: Hii regions / ISM: individual objects: RCW120 / dust, extinction / photon-dominated region (PDR) / stars: formation / infrared: ISM
© ESO, 2010