Filaments and ridges in Vela C revealed by Herschel: from low-mass to high-mass star-forming sites

Hill, T.; Motte, F.; Didelon, P.; Bontemps, S.; Minier, V.; Hennemann, M.; Schneider, N.; André, Ph.; Men‘shchikov, A.; Anderson, L. D.; Arzoumanian, D.; Bernard, J.-P.; di Francesco, J.; Elia, D.; Giannini, T.; Griffin, M. J.; Könyves, V.; Kirk, J.; Marston, A. P.; Martin, P. G.; Molinari, S.; Nguyen Luong, Q.; Peretto, N.; Pezzuto, S.; Roussel, H.; Sauvage, M.; Sousbie, T.; Testi, L.; Ward-Thompson, D.; White, G. J.; Wilson, C. D. and Zavagno, A. (2011). Filaments and ridges in Vela C revealed by Herschel: from low-mass to high-mass star-forming sites. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 533, article no. A94.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201117315

Abstract

We present the first Herschel PACS and SPIRE results of the Vela C molecular complex in the far-infrared and submillimetre regimes at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm, spanning the peak of emission of cold prestellar or protostellar cores. Column density and multi-resolution analysis (MRA) differentiates the Vela C complex into five distinct sub-regions. Each sub-region displays differences in their column density and temperature probability distribution functions (PDFs), in particular, the PDFs of the “Centre-Ridge” and “South-Nest” sub-regions appear in stark contrast to each other. The Centre-Ridge displays a bimodal temperature PDF representative of hot gas surrounding the HII  region RCW 36 and the cold neighbouring filaments, whilst the South-Nest is dominated by cold filamentary structure. The column density PDF of the Centre-Ridge is flatter than the South-Nest, with a high column density tail, consistent with formation through large-scale flows, and regulation by self-gravity. At small to intermediate scales MRA indicates the Centre-Ridge to be twice as concentrated as the South-Nest, whilst on larger scales, a greater portion of the gas in the South-Nest is dominated by turbulence than in the Centre-Ridge. In Vela C, high-mass stars appear to be preferentially forming in ridges, i.e., dominant high column density filaments.

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