Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 535A, 77-77 (2011/11-1)
The formation of active protoclusters in the Aquila Rift: a millimeter continuum view.
MAURY A.J., ANDRE P., MEN'SHCHIKOV A., KOENYVES V. and BONTEMPS S.
Abstract (from CDS):
While most stars are believed to form in stellar clusters, the formation and early evolution of young stellar clusters is still largely unknown. Improving our knowledge of the earliest phases of clustered star formation is crucial for understanding the origin of the stellar initial mass function and the efficiency of the star formation process, which both play a key role in the evolution of galaxies. Here, we present an analysis of the Aquila rift complex which addresses the questions of the star formation rate (SFR), star formation efficiency (SFE) and typical lifetime of the Class 0 protostellar phase in two nearby cluster-forming clumps: the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters. We carried out a 1.2mm dust continuum mapping of the Aquila rift complex with the MAMBO bolometer array on the IRAM 30m telescope. Using a multi-scale source extraction method, we perform a systematic source extraction in our millimeter continuum map. Based on complementary data from the Herschel Gould Belt survey and Spitzer maps, we characterize the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the 77mm continuum sources detected with MAMBO and estimate their evolutionary stages. Taking advantage of the comprehensive dataset available for the Serpens South region, spanning wavelengths from 2µm to 1.2mm, we estimate the numbers of young stellar objects (YSOs) at different evolutionary stages and find a ratio of Class 0 to Class I protostars N(0)/N(I)=0.19-0.27. This low ratio supports a scenario of relatively fast accretion at the beginning of the protostellar phase, and leads to a Class 0 lifetime of ∼4-9x104yr. We also show that both the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters are characterized by large fractions of protostars and high SFRs ∼20-50M☉/Myr/pc2, in agreement with the idea that these two nearby clumps are active sites of clustered star formation currently undergoing bursts of star formation, and have the potential ability to form bound star clusters. While the formation of these two protoclusters is likely to have been initiated in a very different manner, the resulting protostellar populations are observed to be very similar. This suggests that after the onset of gravitational collapse, the detailed manner in which the collapse has been initiated does not affect much the ability of a clump to form stars.
stars: formation - circumstellar matter - ISM: clouds - ISM: structure - dust, extinction - stars: protostars
Table 1: [MAM2011] SerpS-MMNN (Nos MM1-MM25), [MAM2011] W40-MMNN (Nos MM1-MM36), [MAM2011] Aqu-MMNN (Nos MM1-MM16).
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