Detection of two power-law tails in the probability distribution functions of massive GMCs

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slv101
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TypeArticle
Journal titleMonthly notices Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume4453
Issue1
PagesL41L45
SubjectISM; clouds dust; extinction
AbstractWe report the novel detection of complex high column density tails in the probability distribution functions (PDFs) for three high-mass star-forming regions (CepOB3, MonR2, NGC 6334), obtained from dust emission observed with Herschel. The low column density range can be fitted with a lognormal distribution. A first power-law tail starts above an extinction (AV) of ∼6–14. It has a slope of α = 1.3–2 for the ρ ∝ r−α profile for an equivalent density distribution (spherical or cylindrical geometry), and is thus consistent with free-fall gravitational collapse. Above AV ∼40, 60, and 140, we detect an excess that can be fitted by a flatter power-law tail with α > 2. It correlates with the central regions of the cloud (ridges/hubs) of size ∼1 pc and densities above 104 cm−3. This excess may be caused by physical processes that slow down collapse and reduce the flow of mass towards higher densities. Possible are: rotation, which introduces an angular momentum barrier, (2) increasing optical depth and weaker cooling, (3) magnetic fields, (4) geometrical effects, and (5) protostellar feedback. The excess/second power-law tail is closely linked to high-mass star-formation though it does not imply a universal column density threshold for the formation of (high-mass) stars.
Publication date
PublisherOxford
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationAutomotive and Surface Transportation; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number23000826
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Record identifierb8ec205d-f1ba-4107-85bb-d95455978a2a
Record created2016-10-17
Record modified2016-10-17
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