The M 16 molecular complex under the influence of NGC6611: Herschel's perspective of the heating effect on the Eagle Nebula

Hill, T.; Motte, F.; Didelon, P.; White, G. J.; Marston, A. P.; Nguyen Luong, Q.; Bontemps, S.; Andre, Ph.; Schneider, N.; Hennemann, M.; Sauvage, M.; Di Francesco, J.; Minier, V.; Anderson, L. D.; Bernard, J. P.; Elia, D.; Griffin, M. J.; Li, J. Z.; Peretto, N.; Pezzuto, S.; Polychroni, D.; Roussel, H.; Rygl, K. L. J.; Schisano, E.; Sousbie, T.; Testi, L.; Ward Thompson, D. and Zavagno, A. (2012). The M 16 molecular complex under the influence of NGC6611: Herschel's perspective of the heating effect on the Eagle Nebula. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 542, article no. A114.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201219009

Abstract

We present Herschel images from the HOBYS key program of the Eagle Nebula (M 16) in the far-infrared and sub-millimetre, using the PACS and SPIRE cameras at 70 μm, 160 μm, 250 μm, 350 μm, 500 μm. M 16, home to the Pillars of Creation, is largely under the influence of the nearby NGC 6611 high-mass star cluster. The Herschel images reveal a clear dust temperature gradient running away from the centre of the cavity carved by the OB cluster. We investigate the heating effect of NGC 6611 on the entire M 16 star-forming complex seen by Herschel including the diffuse cloud environment and the dense filamentary structures identified in this region. In addition, we interpret the three-dimensional geometry of M 16 with respect to the nebula, its surrounding environment, and the NGC 6611 cavity. The dust temperature and column density maps reveal a prominent eastern filament running north-south and away from the high-mass star-forming central region and the NGC 6611 cluster, as well as a northern filament which extends around and away from the cluster. The dust temperature in each of these filaments decreases with increasing distance from the NGC 6611 cluster, indicating a heating penetration depth of ~10 pc in each direction in 3–6  ×  1022 cm-2 column density filaments. We show that in high-mass star-forming regions OB clusters impact the temperature of future star-forming sites, modifying the initialconditions for collapse and effecting the evolutionary criteria of protostars developed from spectral energy distributions. Possible scenarios for the origin of the morphology seen in this region are discussed, including a western equivalent to the eastern filament, which was destroyed by the creation of the OB cluster and its subsequent winds and radiation.

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