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High-mass star formation at sub-50AU scales

Beuther, H, Mottram, AAJC, Linz, H, Maud, LT, Henning, T, Kuiper, R, Walsh, AJ, Johnston, KG and Longmore, SN (2019) High-mass star formation at sub-50AU scales. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 621. ISSN 0004-6361

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Open Access URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201834064 (Published version)


Methods: We observed the high-mass hot core region G351.77-0.54 with ALMA and more than 16km baselines. Results: At a spatial resolution of 18/40au (depending on the distance), we identify twelve sub-structures within the inner few thousand au of the region. The brightness temperatures are high, reaching values greater 1000K, signposting high optical depth toward the peak positions. Core separations vary between sub-100au to several 100 and 1000au. The core separations and approximate masses are largely consistent with thermal Jeans fragmentation of a dense gas core. Due to the high continuum optical depth, most spectral lines are seen in absorption. However, a few exceptional emission lines are found that most likely stem from transitions with excitation conditions above1000K. Toward the main continuum source, these emission lines exhibit a velocity gradient across scales of 100-200au aligned with the molecular outflow and perpendicular to the previously inferred disk orientation. While we cannot exclude that these observational features stem from an inner hot accretion disk, the alignment with the outflow rather suggests that it stems from the inner jet and outflow region. The highest-velocity features are found toward the peak position, and no Hubble-like velocity structure can be identified. Therefore, these data are consistent with steady-state turbulent entrainment of the hot molecular gas via Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities at the interface between the jet and the outflow. Conclusions: Resolving this high-mass star-forming region at sub-50au scales indicates that the hierarchical fragmentation process in the framework of thermal Jeans fragmentation can continue down to the smallest accessible spatial scales. Velocity gradients on these small scales have to be treated cautiously and do not necessarily stem from disks, but may be better explained with outflow emission.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 10:48
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:40
DOI or ID number: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834064
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9791
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