Characterizing filaments in regions of high-mass star formation: High-resolution submilimeter imaging of the massive star-forming complex NGC 6334 with ArT\'eMiS

Abstract : Herschel observations of nearby molecular clouds suggest that interstellar filaments and prestellar cores represent two fundamental steps in the star formation process. The observations support a picture of low-mass star formation according to which ~ 0.1 pc-wide filaments form first in the cold interstellar medium, probably as a result of large-scale compression of interstellar matter by supersonic turbulent flows, and then prestellar cores arise from gravitational fragmentation of the densest filaments. Whether this scenario also applies to regions of high-mass star formation is an open question, in part because Herschel data cannot resolve the inner width of filaments in the nearest regions of massive star formation. We used the bolometer camera ArTeMiS on the APEX telescope to map the central part of the NGC6334 complex at a factor of > 3 higher resolution than Herschel at 350 microns. Combining ArTeMiS data with Herschel data allowed us to study the structure of the main filament of the complex with a resolution of 8" or < 0.07 pc at d ~ 1.7 kpc. Our study confirms that this filament is a very dense, massive linear structure with a line mass ranging from ~ 500 Msun/pc to ~ 2000 Msun/pc over nearly 10 pc. It also demonstrates that its inner width remains as narrow as W ~ 0.15 +- 0.05 pc all along the filament length, within a factor of < 2 of the characteristic 0.1 pc value found with Herschel for lower-mass filaments in the Gould Belt. While it is not completely clear whether the NGC 6334 filament will form massive stars or not in the future, it is two to three orders of magnitude denser than the majority of filaments observed in Gould Belt clouds, and yet has a very similar inner width. This points to a common physical mechanism for setting the filament width and suggests that some important structural properties of nearby clouds also hold in high-mass star forming regions.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2016, 592, pp.id.A54. <10.1051/0004-6361/201628378>
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Contributeur : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Soumis le : mardi 31 mai 2016 - 11:07:35
Dernière modification le : lundi 29 mai 2017 - 14:30:02

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Ph., André, V., Revéret, V., Könyves, D., Arzoumanian, J., Tigé, et al.. Characterizing filaments in regions of high-mass star formation: High-resolution submilimeter imaging of the massive star-forming complex NGC 6334 with ArT\'eMiS. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2016, 592, pp.id.A54. <10.1051/0004-6361/201628378>. <hal-01323804>

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