Volume 629, September 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||17 September 2019|
Star formation activity and the spatial distribution and mass segregation of dense cores in the early phases of star formation
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 33615 Pessac, France
2 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 25 August 2019
We examine the spatial distribution and mass segregation of dense molecular cloud cores in a number of nearby star forming regions (the region L1495 in Taurus, Aquila, Corona Australis, and W43) that span about four orders of magnitude in star formation activity. We used an approach based on the calculation of the minimum spanning tree, and for each region, we calculated the structure parameter 𝒬 and the mass segregation ratio ΛMSR measured for various numbers of the most massive cores. Our results indicate that the distribution of dense cores in young star forming regions is very substructured and that it is very likely that this substructure will be imprinted onto the nascent clusters that will emerge out of these clouds. With the exception of Taurus in which there is nearly no mass segregation, we observe mild-to-significant levels of mass segregation for the ensemble of the 6, 10, and 14 most massive cores in Aquila, Corona Australis, and W43, respectively. Our results suggest that the clouds’ star formation activity are linked to their structure, as traced by their population of dense cores. We also find that the fraction of massive cores that are the most mass segregated in each region correlates with the surface density of star formation in the clouds. The Taurus region with low star forming activity is associated with a highly hierarchical spatial distribution of the cores (low 𝒬 value) and the cores show no sign of being mass segregated. On the other extreme, the mini-starburst region W43-MM1 has a higher 𝒬 that is suggestive of a more centrally condensed structure. Additionally, it possesses a higher fraction of massive cores that are segregated by mass. While some limited evolutionary effects might be present, we largely attribute the correlation between the star formation activity of the clouds and their structure to a dependence on the physical conditions that have been imprinted on them by the large scale environment at the time they started to assemble.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: structure / local insterstellar matter / Galaxy: structure / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: star clusters: general
© S. Dib and T. Henning 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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