Friday, May 3, 2013

1305.0235 (Peter Barnes et al.)

Millimetre-Wave and Near-Infrared Signposts of Massive Molecular Clump Evolution and Star Cluster Formation    [PDF]

Peter Barnes, Stuart Ryder, Stefan O'Dougherty, Luis Alvarez, Adriana Delgado-Navarro, Andrew Hopkins, Jonathan Tan
We report new near-infrared and mm-wave observational data on a selection of massive Galactic molecular clumps (part of the CHaMP sample) and their associated young star clusters. The clumps show, for the first time in a "dense gas tracer", a significant correlation between HCO+ line emission from cold molecular gas and Br{\gamma} line emission of associated nebulae. This correlation arises in the HCO+ line's brightness, not its linewidth. In contrast, the correlation between the N2H+ line emission and Br{\gamma} is weak or absent. The HCO+/N2H+ line ratio also varies widely from clump to clump: bright HCO+ emission tends to be more closely associated with Br{\gamma} nebulosity, while bright N2H+ emission tends to avoid areas that are bright in Br{\gamma}. Both molecular species show correlations of weak significance with infrared H2 v=1-0 and v=2-1 line emission, in or near the clumps. The H2 emission line ratio is consistent with fluorescent excitation in most of the clumps, although thermal excitation is seen in a few clumps. We interpret these trends as evidence for evolution in the gas conditions due to the effects of ongoing star formation in the clumps, in particular, the importance of UV radiation from massive YSOs as the driving agent that heats the molecular gas and alters its chemistry. This suggests that some traditional dense gas tracers of molecular clouds do not sample a homogeneous population of clumps, i.e., that the HCO+ brightness in particular is directly related to the heating and disruption of cold gas by massive young stars, whereas the N2H+ better samples gas not yet affected by this process. We therefore suggest that the HCO+-N2H+-Br{\gamma} relationship is a useful diagnostic of a molecular clump's progress in forming massive stars.
View original:

No comments:

Post a Comment