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Deeply Embedded Protostellar Population in the 20 km s-1 Cloud of the Central Molecular Zone

Lu, X, Zhang, Q, Kauffmann, J, Pillai, T, Longmore, SN, Kruijssen, JMD, Battersby, C and Gu, Q (2015) Deeply Embedded Protostellar Population in the 20 km s-1 Cloud of the Central Molecular Zone. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS, 814 (2). ISSN 2041-8205

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We report the discovery of a population of deeply embedded protostellar candidates in the 20 km s$^{-1}$ cloud, one of the massive molecular clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Milky Way, using interferometric submillimeter continuum and H$_2$O maser observations. The submillimeter continuum emission shows five 1-pc scale clumps, each of which further fragments into several 0.1-pc scale cores. We identify 17 dense cores, among which 12 are gravitationally bound. Among the 18 H$_2$O masers detected, 13 coincide with the cores and probably trace outflows emanating from the protostars. There are also 5 gravitationally bound dense cores without H$_2$O maser detection. In total the 13 masers and 5 cores may represent 18 protostars with spectral types later than B1 or potential growing more massive stars at earlier evolutionary stage, given the non-detection in the centimeter radio continuum. In combination with previous studies of CH$_3$OH masers, we conclude that the star formation in this cloud is at an early evolutionary phase, before the presence of any significant ionizing or heating sources. Our findings indicate that star formation in this cloud may be triggered by a tidal compression as it approaches pericenter, similar to the case of G0.253+0.016 but with a higher star formation rate, and demonstrate that high angular resolution, high sensitivity maser and submillimeter observations are a promising technique to unveil deeply embedded star formation in the CMZ.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.SR
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
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Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 13:13
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:52
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2214
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