Detection of 6 K gas in ophiuchus D

Harju, J.; Juvela, M.; Schlemmer, S.; Haikala, L. K.; Lehtinen, K.; Mattila, K.


Context. Cold cores in interstellar molecular clouds represent the very first phase in star formation. The physical conditions of these objects are studied in order to understand how molecular clouds evolve and how stellar masses are determined. Aims. The purpose of this study is to probe conditions in the dense, starless clump Ophichus D ( Oph D). Methods. The ground-state ( 1(10)-> 1(11). 111) rotational transition of ortho- H2D+ was observed with APEX towards the density peak of Oph D. Results. The width of the H2D+ line indicates that the kinetic temperature in the core is about 6 K. So far, this is the most direct evidence of such cold gas in molecular clouds. The observed H2D+ spectrum can be reproduced with a hydrostatic model with the temperature increasing from about 6 K in the centre to almost 10 K at the surface. The model is unstable against any increase in the external pressure, and the core is likely to form a low-mass star. Conclusions. The results suggest that an equilibrium configuration is a feasible intermediate stage of star formation even if the larger scale structure of the cloud is thought to be determined by turbulent fragmentation. In comparison with the isothermal case, the inward decrease in the temperature makes smaller, i.e. less massive, cores susceptible to externally triggered collapse.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000255156100016 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS
Volumen: 482
Número: 2
Fecha de publicación: 2008
Página de inicio: 535
Página final: 539


Notas: ISI