The structure and early evolution of massive star forming regions
Substructure in the infrared dark cloud SDC13
1 Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Alan Turing Building, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
2 UK ALMA Regional Centre node, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3 School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queens Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3AA, UK
4 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
5 Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL, Gower St., London, WC1E 6BT, UK
Received: 26 July 2015
Accepted: 11 July 2016
Context. Investigations into the substructure of massive star forming regions are essential for understanding the observed relationships between core mass distributions and mass distributions in stellar clusters, differentiating between proposed mechanisms of massive star formation.
Aims. We study the substructure in the two largest fragments (i.e. cores) MM1 and MM2, in the infrared dark cloud complex SDC13. As MM1 appears to be in a later stage of evolution than MM2, comparing their substructure provides an insight in to the early evolution of massive clumps.
Methods. We report the results of high resolution SMA dust continuum observations towards MM1 and MM2. Combining these data with Herschel observations, we carry out RADMC-3D radiative transfer modelling to characterise the observed substructure.
Results. SMA continuum data indicates 4 sub-fragments in the SDC13 region. The nature of the second brightest sub-fragment (B) is uncertain as it does not appear as prominent at the lower MAMBO resolution or at radio wavelengths. Statistical analysis indicates that it is unlikely to be a background source, an AGB star, or the free-free emission of a HII region. It is plausible that B is a runaway object ejected from MM1. MM1, which is actively forming stars, consists of two sub-fragments A and C. This is confirmed by 70 μmHerschel data. While MM1 and MM2 appear quite similar in previous low resolution observations, at high resolution, the sub-fragment at the centre of MM2 (D) is much fainter than sub-fragment at the centre of MM1 (A). RADMC-3D models of MM1 and MM2 are able to reproduce these results, modelling MM2 with a steeper density profile and higher mass than is required for MM1. The relatively steep density profile of MM2 depends on a significant temperature decrease in its centre, justified by the lack of star formation in MM2. A final stellar population for MM1 was extrapolated, indicating a star formation efficiency typical of regions of core and cluster formation.
Conclusions. The proximity of MM1 and MM2 suggests they were formed at the similar times, however, despite having a larger mass and steeper density profile, the absence of stars in MM2 indicates that it is in an earlier stage of evolution than MM1. This suggests that the density profiles of such cores become shallower as they start to form stars and that evolutionary timescales are not solely dependent on initial mass. Some studies also indicate that the steep density profile of MM2 makes it more likely to form a single massive central object, highlighting the importance of the initial density profile in determining the fragmentation behaviour in massive star forming regions.
Key words: stars: formation / ISM: clouds / stars: massive / stars: protostars
© ESO, 2016