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Cores, filaments, and bundles: hierarchical core formation in the L1495/B213 Taurus region  [PDF]
A. Hacar,M. Tafalla,J. Kauffmann,A. Kovacs
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201220090
Abstract: (Abridged) Context. Core condensation is a critical step in the star-formation process, but is still poorly characterized observationally. Aims. We have studied the 10 pc-long L1495/B213 complex in Taurus to investigate how dense cores have condensed out of the lower-density cloud material. Results. From the N$_2$H$^+$ emission, we identify 19 dense cores, some starless and some protostellar. They are not distributed uniformly, but tend to cluster with relative separations on the order of 0.25 pc. From the C$^{18}$O emission, we identify multiple velocity components in the gas. We have characterized them by fitting gaussians to the spectra, and by studying the distribution of the fits in position-position-velocity space. In this space, the C$^{18}$O components appear as velocity-coherent structures, and we have identified them automatically using a dedicated algorithm (FIVe: Friends In Velocity). Using this algorithm, we have identified 35 filamentary components with typical lengths of 0.5 pc, sonic internal velocity dispersions, and mass-per-unit-length close to the stability threshold of isothermal cylinders at 10 K. Core formation seems to have occurred inside the filamentary components via fragmentation, with a small number of fertile components with larger mass-per-unit-length being responsible for most cores in the cloud. At large scales, the filamentary components appear grouped into families, which we refer to as bundles. Conclusions. Core formation in L1495/B213 has proceeded by hierarchical fragmentation. The cloud fragmented first into several pc-scale regions. Each of these regions later fragmented into velocity-coherent filaments of about 0.5 pc in length. Finally, a small number of these filaments fragmented quasi-statically and produced the individual dense cores we see today.
Hierarchical Fragmentation of the Orion Molecular Filaments  [PDF]
Satoko Takahashi,Paul T. P. Ho,Paula S. Teixeira,Luis A. Zapata,Yu-Nung Su
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/763/1/57
Abstract: We present a high angular resolution map of 850 um continuum emission of the Orion Molecular Cloud-3 (OMC 3) obtained with the Submillimeter Array (SMA); the map is a mosaic of 85 pointings covering an approximate area of 6'.5 x 2'.0 (0.88 x 0.27 pc). We detect 12 spatially resolved continuum sources, each with an H_2 mass between 0.3-5.7 Mo and a projected source size between 1400-8200 AU. All the detected sources are on the filamentary main ridge n_H2>10^6 cm^-3), and analysis based on the Jeans theorem suggests that they are most likely gravitationally unstable. Comparison of multi-wavelength data sets indicates that of the continuum sources, 6/12 (50 %) are associated with molecular outflows, 8/12 (67 %) are associated with infrared sources, and 3/12 (25 %) are associated with ionized jets. The evolutionary status of these sources ranges from prestellar cores to protostar phase, confirming that OMC-3 is an active region with ongoing embedded star-formation. We detect quasi-periodical separations between the OMC-3 sources of ~17"/0.035 pc. This spatial distribution is part of a large hierarchical structure, that also includes fragmentation scales of GMC (~35 pc), large-scale clumps (~1.3 pc), and small-scale clumps (~0.3 pc), suggesting that hierarchical fragmentation operates within the Orion A molecular cloud. The fragmentation spacings are roughly consistent with the thermal fragmentation length in large-scale clumps, while for small-scale cores it is smaller than the local fragmentation length. These smaller spacings observed with the SMA can be explained by either a helical magnetic field, cloud rotation, or/and global filament collapse. Finally, possible evidence for sequential fragmentation is suggested in the northern part of the OMC-3 filament.
Gravitational fragmentation caught in the act: the filamentary Musca molecular cloud  [PDF]
Jouni Kainulainen,Alvaro Hacar,Jo?o Alves,Henrik Beuther,Hervé Bouy,Mario Tafalla
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Filamentary structures are common in molecular clouds. Explaining how they fragment to dense cores is a missing step in understanding their role in star formation. We perform a case study of whether low-mass filaments are close-to hydrostatic prior to their fragmentation, and whether their fragmentation agrees with gravitational fragmentation models. For this, we study the 6.5 pc long Musca molecular cloud that is an ideal candidate for a filament at an early stage of fragmentation. We employ dust extinction mapping in conjunction with near-infrared data from the NEWFIRM instrument, and 870 um dust continuum emission data from the LABOCA instrument, to estimate column densities. We use the data to identify fragments from the cloud and to determine the radial density distribution of its filamentary part. We compare the cloud's morphology with 13CO and C18O line emission observed with the APEX/SHeFI instrument. The Musca cloud is pronouncedly fragmented at its ends, but harbours a remarkably well-defined, 1.6 pc long filament in its Center region. The line mass of the filament is 21-31 Ms pc^-1 and FWHM 0.07 pc. Its radial profile can be fitted with a Plummer profile that has the power-index of 2.6 \pm 11%, flatter than that of an infinite hydrostatic filament. The profile can also be fitted with a hydrostatic cylinder truncated by external pressure. These models imply a central density of 5-10 x 10^4 cm^-3. The fragments in the cloud have a mean separation of 0.4 pc, in agreement with gravitational fragmentation. These properties, together with the subsonic and velocity-coherent nature of the cloud, suggest a scenario in which an initially hydrostatic cloud is currently gravitationally fragmenting. The fragmentation has started a few tenths of a Myr ago from the cloud ends, leaving its center yet relatively non-fragmented, possibly because of gravitational focusing in a finite geometry.
Fragmentation and depolymerization of non-covalently bonded filaments  [PDF]
A. Zaccone,I. Terentjev,L. DiMichele,E. M. Terentjev
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1063/1.4914925
Abstract: Protein molecules often self-assemble by means of non-covalent physical bonds to form extended filaments, such as amyloids, F-actin, intermediate filaments, and many others. The kinetics of filament growth is limited by the disassembly rate, at which inter-protein bonds break due to the thermal motion. Existing models often assume that the thermal dissociation of subunits occurs uniformly along the filament, or even preferentially in the middle, while the well-known propensity of F-actin to depolymerize from one end is mediated by biochemical factors. Here, we show for a very general (and generic) model, using Brownian dynamics simulations and theory, that the breakup location along the filament is strongly controlled by the asymmetry of the binding force about the minimum, as well as by the bending stiffness of the filament. We provide the basic connection between the features of the interaction potential between subunits and the breakup topology. With central-force (that is, fully flexible) bonds, the breakup rate is always maximum in the middle of the chain, whereas for semiflexible or stiff filaments this rate is either a minimum in the middle or flat. The emerging framework provides a unifying understanding of biopolymer fragmentation and depolymerization and recovers earlier results in its different limits.
Origin of the dense core mass function in contracting filaments  [PDF]
Philip C. Myers
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/764/2/140
Abstract: Mass functions of starless dense cores (CMFs) may arise from contraction and dispersal of core-forming filaments. In an illustrative model, a filament contracts radially by self-gravity, increasing the mass of its cores. During this contraction, FUV photoevaporation and ablation by shocks and winds disperse filament gas and limit core growth. The stopping times of core growth are described by a waiting-time distribution. The initial filament column density profile and the resulting CMF each match recent Herschel observations in detail. Then low-mass cores have short growth ages and arise from the innermost filament gas, while massive cores have long growth ages and draw from more extended filament gas. The model fits the initial density profile and CMF best for mean core density 2 10^4 cm^-3 and filament dispersal time scale 0.5 Myr. Then the typical core mass, radius, mean column density, and contraction speed are respectively 0.8 solar masses, 0.06 pc, 6 10^21 cm^-2, and 0.07 km s^-1, also in accord with observed values.
Chains of dense cores in the Taurus L1495/B213 complex  [PDF]
M. Tafalla,A. Hacar
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201424576
Abstract: (Abridged) We study the kinematics of the dense gas in the Taurus L1495/B213 filamentary region to investigate the mechanism of core formation. We use observations of N2H+(1-0) and C18O(2-1) carried out with the IRAM 30m telescope. We find that the dense cores in L1495/B213 are significantly clustered in linear chain-like groups about 0.5pc long. The internal motions in these chains are mostly subsonic and the velocity is continuous, indicating that turbulence dissipation in the cloud has occurred at the scale of the chains and not at the smaller scale of the individual cores. The chains also present an approximately constant abundance of N2H+ and radial intensity profiles that can be modeled with a density law that follows a softened power law. A simple analysis of the spacing between the cores using an isothermal cylinder model indicates that the cores have likely formed by gravitational fragmentation of velocity-coherent filaments. Combining our analysis of the cores with our previous study of the large-scale C18O emission from the cloud, we propose a two-step scenario of core formation in L1495/B213. In this scenario, named "fray and fragment," L1495/B213 originated from the supersonic collision of two flows. The collision produced a network of intertwined subsonic filaments or fibers ("fray" step). Some of these fibers accumulated enough mass to become gravitationally unstable and fragment into chains of closely-spaced cores. This scenario may also apply to other regions of star formation.
On the nature of star-forming filaments: II. Sub-filaments and velocities  [PDF]
Rowan J. Smith,Simon C. O. Glover,Ralf S. Klessen,Gary A. Fuller
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv2559
Abstract: We show that hydrodynamic turbulent cloud simulations naturally produce large filaments made up of a network of smaller and coherent sub-filaments. Such simulations resemble observations of filaments and fibres in nearby molecular clouds. The sub-filaments are dynamical features formed at the stagnation points of the turbulent velocity field where shocks dissipate the turbulent energy. They are a ubiquitous feature of the simulated clouds, which appear from the beginning of the simulation and are not formed by gradual fragmentation of larger filaments. Most of the sub-filaments are gravitationally sub-critical and do not fragment into cores, however, there is also a significant fraction of supercritical sub-filaments which break up into star-forming cores. The sub-filaments are coherent along their length, and the residual velocities along their spine show that they are subsonically contracting without any ordered rotation on scales of ~0.1 pc. Accretion flows along the sub-filaments can feed material into star forming cores embedded within the network. The overall mass in sub-filaments and the number of sub-filaments increases as the cloud evolves. We propose that the formation of filaments and sub-filaments is a natural consequence of the turbulent cascade in the complex multi-phase interstellar medium. Sub-filaments are formed by the high wavenumber, small scale modes in the turbulent velocity field. These are then stretched by local shear motions and gathered together by a combination of low wavenumber modes and gravitational contraction on larger scales, and by doing so build up the extended filaments observed in column density maps.
Two Mass Distributions in the L 1641 Molecular Clouds: The Herschel connection of Dense Cores and Filaments in Orion A  [PDF]
D. Polychroni,E. Schisano,D. Elia,A. Roy,S. Molinari,P. Martin,Ph. Andre,D. Turrini,K. L. J. Rygl,M. Benedettini,G. Busquet,A. M. di Giorgio,M. Pestalozzi,S. Pezzuto,D. Arzoumanian,S. Bontemps,J. Di Francesco,M. Hennemann,T. Hill,V. Konyves,A. Menshchikov,F. Motte,Q. Nguyen-Luong,N. Peretto,N. Schneider,G. White
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/777/2/L33
Abstract: We present the Herschel Gould Belt survey maps of the L1641 molecular clouds in Orion A. We extracted both the filaments and dense cores in the region. We identified which of dense sources are proto- or pre-stellar, and studied their association with the identified filaments. We find that although most (71%) of the pre-stellar sources are located on filaments there is still a significant fraction of sources not associated with such structures. We find that these two populations (on and off the identified filaments) have distinctly different mass distributions. The mass distribution of the sources on the filaments is found to peak at 4 Solar masses and drives the shape of the CMF at higher masses, which we fit with a power law of the form dN/dlogM \propto M^{-1.4+/-0.4}. The mass distribution of the sources off the filaments, on the other hand, peaks at 0.8 Solar masses and leads to a flattening of the CMF at masses lower than ~4 Solar masses. We postulate that this difference between the mass distributions is due to the higher proportion of gas that is available in the filaments, rather than in the diffuse cloud.
Velocity correlations in dense granular flows  [PDF]
Olivier Pouliquen
Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.248001
Abstract: Velocity fluctuations of grains flowing down a rough inclined plane are experimentally studied. The grains at the free surface exhibit fluctuating motions, which are correlated over few grains diameters. The characteristic correlation length is shown to depend on the inclination of the plane and not on the thickness of the flowing layer. This result strongly supports the idea that dense granular flows are controlled by a characteristic length larger than the particle diameter.
Fragmentation of massive dense cores down to ~1000 AU: Relation between fragmentation and density structure  [PDF]
Aina Palau,R. Estalella,J. M. Girart,A. Fuente,F. Fontani,B. Commercon,G. Busquet,S. Bontemps,A. Sanchez-Monge,L. A. Zapata,Q. Zhang,P. Hennebelle,J. Di Francesco
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/42
Abstract: In order to shed light on the main physical processes controlling fragmentation of massive dense cores, we present a uniform study of the density structure of 19 massive dense cores, selected to be at similar evolutionary stages, for which their relative fragmentation level was assessed in a previous work. We inferred the density structure of the 19 cores through a simultaneous fit of the radial intensity profiles at 450 and 850 micron (or 1.2 mm in two cases) and the Spectral Energy Distribution, assuming spherical symmetry and that the density and temperature of the cores decrease with radius following power-laws. We find a weak (inverse) trend of fragmentation level and density power-law index, with steeper density profiles tending to show lower fragmentation, and vice versa. In addition, we find a trend of fragmentation increasing with density within a given radius, which arises from a combination of flat density profile and high central density and is consistent with Jeans fragmentation. We considered the effects of rotational-to-gravitational energy ratio, non-thermal velocity dispersion, and turbulence mode on the density structure of the cores, and found that compressive turbulence seems to yield higher central densities. Finally, a possible explanation for the origin of cores with concentrated density profiles, which are the cores showing no fragmentation, could be related with a strong magnetic field, consistent with the outcome of radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations.
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