Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 311, 63-74 (2000/January-1)
A far-infrared survey of molecular cloud cores.
JESSOP N.E. and WARD-THOMPSON D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a catalogue of molecular cloud cores drawn from high-latitude, medium-opacity clouds, using the all-sky IRAS Sky Survey Atlas (ISSA) images at 60 and 100µm. The typical column densities of the cores are N(H2)∼3.8x1021cm–2 and the typical volume densities are n(H2)∼2x103cm–3. They are therefore significantly less dense than many other samples obtained in other ways. Those cloud cores with IRAS point sources are seen to be already forming stars, but this is found to be only a small fraction of the total number of cores. The fraction of the cores at the protostellar stage is used to estimate the pre-stellar time-scale - the time until the formation of a hydrostatically supported protostellar object. We argue, on the basis of a comparison with other samples, that a trend exists for the pre-stellar lifetime of a cloud core to decrease with the mean column density and number density of the core. We compare this with model predictions and show that the data are consistent with star formation regulated by the ionization fraction.
2000, Royal Astronomical Society