The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

The Herschel view of the on-going star formation in the Vela-C molecular cloud

Giannini, T.; Elia, D.; Lorenzetti, D.; Molinari, S.; Motte, F.; Schisano, E.; Pezzuto, S.; Pestalozzi, M.; Di Giorgio, A. M.; André, P.; Hill, T.; Benedettini, M.; Bontemps, S.; Di Francesco, J.; Fallscheer, C.; Hennemann, M.; Kirk, J.; Minier, V.; Nguyn Lu’o’ng, Q.; Polychroni, D.; Rygl, K. L. J.; Saraceno, P.; Schneider, N.; Spinoglio, L.; Testi, L.; Ward-Thompson, D. and White, G. J. (2012). The Herschel view of the on-going star formation in the Vela-C molecular cloud. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 539, article no. A156.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (361Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201117811
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Aims. As part of the Herschel guaranteed time key programme "HOBYS", we present the PACS and SPIRE photometric survey of the star-forming region Vela-C, one of the nearest sites of low-to-high-mass star formation in the Galactic plane. Our main objectives are to take a census of the cold sources and to derive their mass distribution down to a few solar masses.

Methods. Vela-C was observed with PACS and SPIRE in parallel mode at five wavelengths between 70 μm and 500 μm over an area of about 3 square degrees. A photometric catalogue was extracted from the detections in each of the five bands, using a threshold of 5σ over the local background. Out of this catalogue we selected a robust sub-sample of 268 sources, of which ~75% are cloud clumps (diameter between 0.05 pc and 0.13 pc) and 25% are cores (diameter between 0.025 pc and 0.05 pc). Their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) were fitted with a modified black body function. We classify 48 sources as protostellar, based on their detection at 70 μm or at shorter wavelengths, and 218 as starless, because of non-detections at 70 μm. For two other sources, we do not provide a secure classification, but suggest they are Class 0 protostars.

Results. From the SED fitting we derived key physical parameters (i.e. mass, temperature, bolometric luminosity). Protostellar sources are in general warmer (<T> = 12.8 K) and more compact (<diameter> = 0.040 pc) than starless sources (<T> = 10.3 K, <diameter> = 0.067 pc). Both these findings can be ascribed to the presence of an internal source(s) of moderate heating, which also causes a temperature gradient and hence a more peaked intensity distribution. Moreover, the reduced dimensions of protostellar sources may indicate that they will not fragment further. A virial analysis of the starless sources gives an upper limit of 90% probability for the sources to be gravitationally bound and therefore prestellar in nature. A luminosity vs. mass diagram of the two populations shows that protostellar sources are in the early accretion phase, while prestellar sources populate a region of the diagram where mass accretion has not started yet. We fitted a power law N(log M)α M - 1.1 ± 0.2 to the linear portion of the mass distribution of prestellar sources. This is in between that typical of CO clumps and those of cores in nearby star-forming regions. We interpret this as a result of the inhomogeneity of our sample, which is composed of comparable fractions of clumps and cores.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 ESO
ISSN: 1432-0746
Keywords: Vela-C; clouds; star formation; circumstellar matter
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 33196
Depositing User: G. J. White
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 16:37
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2016 06:02
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/33196
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Scopus Citations

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk