Volume 589, May 2016
|Number of page(s)||22|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||12 April 2016|
Hot ammonia around young O-type stars
III. High-mass star formation and hot core activity in W51 Main⋆
1 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2 ALLEGRO/Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, UK
Received: 27 November 2015
Accepted: 25 January 2016
Context. This paper is the third in a series of NH3 multilevel imaging studies in well-known, high-mass star-forming regions. The main goal is to characterize kinematics and physical conditions of (hot and dense) circumstellar molecular gas around O-type young stars.
Aims. We want to map at subarcsecond resolution highly excited inversion lines of NH3 in the high-mass star-forming region W51 Main (distance = 5.4 kpc), which is an ideal target to constrain theoretical models of high-mass star formation.
Methods. Using the Karl Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), we mapped the hot and dense molecular gas in W51 Main with ~02−03 angular resolution in five metastable (J = K) inversion transitions of ammonia (NH3): (J,K) = (6, 6), (7, 7), (9, 9), (10, 10), and (13, 13). These lines arise from energy levels between ~400 K and ~1700 K above the ground state. We also made maps of the (free-free) continuum emission at frequencies between 25 and 36 GHz.
Results. We have identified and characterized two main centers of high-mass star formation in W51 Main, which excite hot cores and host one or multiple high-mass young stellar objects (YSOs) at their centers: the W51e2 complex and the W51e8 core (~6′′ southward of W51e2). The former breaks down into three further subcores: W51e2-W, which surrounds the well-known hypercompact (HC) HII region, where hot NH3 is observed in absorption, and two additional dusty cores, W51e2-E (~08 to the East) and W51e2-NW (~1′′ to the North), where hot NH3 is observed in emission. The velocity maps toward the HC HII region show a clear velocity gradient along the east-west in all lines. The gradient may indicate rotation, although any Keplerian motion must be on smaller scales (<1000 AU) as we do not directly observe a Keplerian velocity profile. The absence of outflow and/or maser activity and the low amount of molecular gas available for accretion (~5 M⊙, assuming [NH3]/[H2] = 10-7) with respect to the mass of the central YSO estimated from radio luminosity (>20 M⊙), both indicate that the central YSO has already accreted most of its final mass. On the other hand, the nearby W51e2-E, while not showing evidence of rotation, shows signatures of infall in a hot dense core (T ~ 170 K, nH2 ~ 5 × 107 cm-3), based on asymmetric spectral profiles (skewed toward the blueshifted component) in optically thick emission lines of NH3. The relatively large amount of hot molecular gas available for accretion (~20 M⊙ within about half an arcsecond or 2500 AU), along with strong outflow and maser activity, indicates that the main accretion center in the W51e2 complex is W51e2-E rather than W51e2-W. Finally, W51e2-NW and W51e8, although less dense (nH2 ~ 2 × 107 cm-3 and ~ 3 × 106 cm-3), are also hot cores (Tgas ~ 140 and 200 K) and contain a significant amount of molecular gas (Mgas ~ 30M⊙ and ~70 M⊙, respectively). We speculate that they may host high-mass YSOs either at a previous evolutionary stage or with a mass that is lower than W51e2-E and W51e2-W.
Conclusions. Using high-angular resolution multilevel imaging of highly excited NH3 metastable lines, we characterized the physical and dynamical properties of four individual high-mass young stars forming in the W51 Main clump.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / line: profiles / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: molecules / stars: protostars / HII regions
The reduced NH3 data cubes as FITS files are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/589/A44
© ESO, 2016
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.