Astrophys. J., 758, L25 (2012/October-3)
Substellar-mass condensations in prestellar cores.
NAKAMURA F., TAKAKUWA S. and KAWABE R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present combined Submillimeter Array and single-dish images of the (sub)millimeter dust continuum emission toward two prestellar cores, SM1 and B2-N5, in the nearest star-cluster-forming region, ρ Ophiuchus. Our combined images indicate that SM1 and B2-N5 consist of three and four condensations, respectively, with masses of 10–2-10–1 M☉ and sizes of a few hundred AU. The individual condensations have mean densities of 108-109/cm3 and the masses are comparable to or larger than the critical Bonner-Ebert mass, indicating that self-gravity plays an important role in the dynamical evolution of the condensations. The coalescence timescale of these condensations is estimated to be about 104 yr, which is comparable to the local gravitational collapse timescale, suggesting that merging of the condensations, instead of accretion, plays an essential role in the star formation process. These results challenge the standard theory of star formation, where a single, rather featureless, prestellar core collapses to form at most a couple of condensations, each of which potentially evolves into a protostar that is surrounded by a rotating disk where planets are created.
ISM: clouds - ISM: kinematics and dynamics - ISM: structure - stars: formation
Table 2: [NTK2012] aN (Nos a1-a3), [NTK2012] bN (Nos b1-b4)
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