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The Pipe Nebula as seen with Herschel: formation of filamentary structures by large-scale compression?

Peretto, N.; André, Ph.; Könyves, V.; Schneider, N.; Arzoumanian, D.; Palmeirim, P.; Didelon, P.; Attard, M.; Bernard, J. P.; Di Francesco, J.; Elia, D.; Hennemann, M.; Hill, T.; Kirk, J.; Men’shchikov, A.; Motte, F.; Nguyen Luong, Q.; Roussel, H.; Sousbie, T.; Testi, L.; Ward-Thompson, D.; White, G. J. and Zavagno, A. (2012). The Pipe Nebula as seen with Herschel: formation of filamentary structures by large-scale compression? Astronomy & Astrophysics, 541, article no. A63.

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A growing body of evidence indicates that the formation of filaments in interstellar clouds is a key component of the star formation process. In this paper, we present new Herschel-PACS and SPIRE observations of the B59 and Stem regions in the Pipe Nebula complex, revealing a rich, organized network of filaments. The asymmetric column density profiles observed for several filaments, along with the bow-like edge of B59, indicates that the Pipe Nebula is being compressed from its western side, most likely by the winds from the nearby Sco OB2 association. We suggest that this compressive flow has contributed to the formation of some of the observed filamentary structures. In B59, the only region of the entire Pipe complex showing star formation activity, the same compressive flow has likely enhanced the initial column density of the clump, allowing it to become globally gravitationally unstable. Although more speculative, we propose that gravity has also been responsible for shaping the converging filamentary pattern observed in B59. While the question of the relative impact of large-scale compression and gravity remains open in B59, large-scale compression appears to be a plausible mechanism for the initial formation of filamentary structures in the rest of the complex.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 ESO
ISSN: 1432-0746
Extra Information: 8 pp.
Keywords: star formation; clouds; ultraviolet
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
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Item ID: 33625
Depositing User: Glenn White
Date Deposited: 10 May 2012 08:22
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 18:54
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