Volume 559, November 2013
|Number of page(s)||26|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||18 November 2013|
APEX/SABOCA observations of small-scale structure of infrared-dark clouds
I. Early evolutionary stages of star-forming cores⋆,⋆⋆
Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Received: 9 May 2013
Accepted: 28 August 2013
Infrared-dark clouds (IRDCs) harbor the early phases of cluster and high-mass star formation and are comprised of cold (~20 K), dense (n > 104 cm-3) gas. The spectral energy distribution (SED) of IRDCs is dominated by the far-infrared and millimeter wavelength regime, and our initial Herschel study examined IRDCs at the peak of the SED with high angular resolution. Here we present a follow-up study using the SABOCA instrument on APEX which delivers 7.8″ angular resolution at 350 μm, matching the resolution we achieved with Herschel/PACS, and allowing us to characterize substructure on ~0.1 pc scales. Our sample of 11 nearby IRDCs are a mix of filamentary and clumpy morphologies, and the filamentary clouds show significant hierarchical structure, while the clumpy IRDCs exhibit little hierarchical structure. All IRDCs, regardless of morphology, have about 14% of their total mass in small scale core-like structures which roughly follow a trend of constant volume density over all size scales. Out of the 89 protostellar cores we identified in this sample with Herschel, we recover 40 of the brightest and re-fit their SEDs and find their properties agree fairly well with our previous estimates (⟨ T ⟩ ~ 19 K). We detect a new population of “cold cores” which have no 70 μm counterpart, but are 100 and 160 μm-bright, with colder temperatures (⟨ T ⟩ ~ 16 K). This latter population, along with SABOCA-only detections, are predominantly low-mass objects, but their evolutionary diagnostics are consistent with the earliest starless or prestellar phase of cores in IRDCs.
Key words: catalogs / stars: formation / ISM: structure / submillimeter: ISM
Based on observations carried out with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). APEX is a collaboration between Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR), Onsala Space Observatory (OSO), and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013
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