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Very large array observations of ammonia in infrared-dark clouds. II. internal kinematics

Ragan, Sarah, Heitsch, Fabian, Bergin, Edwin and Wilner, David 2012. Very large array observations of ammonia in infrared-dark clouds. II. internal kinematics. Astrophysical Journal 746 (2) , 174. 10.1088/0004-637X/746/2/174

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Abstract

Infrared-dark clouds (IRDCs) are believed to be the birthplaces of rich clusters and thus contain the earliest phases of high-mass star formation. We use the Green Bank Telescope and Very Large Array maps of ammonia (NH3) in six IRDCs to measure their column density and temperature structure (Paper 1), and here, we investigate the kinematic structure and energy content. We find that IRDCs overall display organized velocity fields, with only localized disruptions due to embedded star formation. The local effects seen in NH3 emission are not high-velocity outflows but rather moderate (few km s-1) increases in the linewidth that exhibit maxima near or coincident with the mid-infrared emission tracing protostars. These linewidth enhancements could be the result of infall or (hidden in NH3 emission) outflow. Not only is the kinetic energy content insufficient to support the IRDCs against collapse, but also the spatial energy distribution is inconsistent with a scenario of turbulent cloud support. We conclude that the velocity signatures of the IRDCs in our sample are due to active collapse and fragmentation, in some cases augmented by local feedback from stars.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 0004-637X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 5 January 2012
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 22:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/106497

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