First results from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey in Taurus

Kirk, J. M.; Ward-Thompson, D.; Palmeirim, P.; André, Ph.; Griffin, M. J.; Hargrave, P. J.; Könyves, V.; Bernard, J.- P.; Nutter, D. J.; Sibthorpe, B.; Di Francesco, J.; Abergel, A.; Arzoumanian, D.; Benedettini, M.; Bontemps, S.; Elia, D.; Hennemann, M.; Hill, T.; Men'shchikov, A.; Motte, F.; Nguyen-Luong, Q.; Peretto, N.; Pezzuto, S.; Rygl, K. L. J.; Sadavoy, S. I.; Schisano, E.; Schneider, N.; Testi, L. and White, G. (2013). First results from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey in Taurus. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 432(2) pp. 1424–1433.




The whole of the Taurus region (a total area of 52 deg2) has been observed by the Herschel Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) and Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instruments at wavelengths of 70, 160, 250, 350 and 500 μm as part of the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. In this paper we present the first results from the part of the Taurus region that includes the Barnard 18 and L1536 clouds. A new source-finding routine, the Cardiff Source-finding AlgoRithm (CSAR), is introduced, which is loosely based on CLUMPFIND, but that also generates a structure tree, or dendrogram, which can be used to interpret hierarchical clump structure in a complex region. Sources were extracted from the data using the hierarchical version of CSAR and plotted on a mass-size diagram. We found a hierarchy of objects with sizes in the range 0.024-2.7 pc. Previous studies showed that gravitationally bound prestellar cores and unbound starless clumps appeared in different places on the mass-size diagram. However, it was unclear whether this was due to a lack of instrumental dynamic range or whether they were actually two distinct populations. The excellent sensitivity of Herschel shows that our sources fill the gap in the mass-size plane between starless and pre-stellar cores, and gives the first clear supporting observational evidence for the theory that unbound clumps and (gravitationally bound) prestellar cores are all part of the same population, and hence presumably part of the same evolutionary sequence.

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