On the accretion process in a high-mass star forming region
A multitransitional THz Herschel-HIFI study of ammonia toward G34.26+0.15 ⋆
Chalmers University of TechnologyDepartment of Earth and Space Sciences,
Onsala Space Observatory,
2 Max-Planck-Institute für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Centre for Star and Planet Formation, Niels Bohr Institute & Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K., Denmark
Received: 1 May 2015
Accepted: 13 October 2015
Aims. Our aim is to explore the gas dynamics and the accretion process in the early phase of high-mass star formation.
Methods. The inward motion of molecular gas in the massive star forming region G34.26+0.15 is investigated by using high-resolution profiles of seven transitions of ammonia at THz frequencies observed with Herschel-HIFI. The shapes and intensities of these lines are interpreted in terms of radiative transfer models of a spherical, collapsing molecular envelope. An accelerated Lambda Iteration (ALI) method is used to compute the models.
Results. The seven ammonia lines show mixed absorption and emission with inverse P-Cygni-type profiles that suggest infall onto the central source. A trend toward absorption at increasingly higher velocities for higher excitation transitions is clearly seen in the line profiles. The J = 3 ← 2 lines show only very weak emission, so these absorption profiles can be used directly to analyze the inward motion of the gas. This is the first time a multitransitional study of spectrally resolved rotational ammonia lines has been used for this purpose. Broad emission is, in addition, mixed with the absorption in the 10–00 ortho-NH3 line, possibly tracing a molecular outflow from the star forming region. The best-fitting ALI model reproduces the continuum fluxes and line profiles, but slightly underpredicts the emission and absorption depth in the ground-state ortho line 10–00. An ammonia abundance on the order of 10-9 relative to H2 is needed to fit the profiles. The derived ortho-to-para ratio is approximately 0.5 throughout the infalling cloud core similar to recent findings for translucent clouds in sight lines toward W31C and W49N. We find evidence of two gas components moving inwards toward the central region with constant velocities: 2.7 and 5.3 km s-1, relative to the source systemic velocity. Attempts to model the inward motion with a single gas cloud in free-fall collapse did not succeed.
Key words: stars: massive / stars: formation / ISM: molecules / ISM: individual objects: G34.26+0.15 / submillimeter: ISM ISM: kinematics and dynamics
© ESO, 2016