Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 438, 426-437 (2014/February-2)
A statistical study of gaseous environment of Spitzer interstellar bubbles.
HOU L.G. and GAO X.Y.
Abstract (from CDS):
The expansion of interstellar bubbles is suggested to be an important mechanism of triggering material accumulation and star formation. In this work, we investigate the gaseous environment of a large sample of interstellar bubbles identified by the Spitzer space telescope, aiming to explore the possible evidence of triggered gas accumulation and star formation in a statistical sense. By cross-matching 6124 Spitzer interstellar bubbles from the Milky Way Project (MWP) and more than 2500 Galactic Hii regions collected by us, we obtain the velocity information for 818 MWP bubbles. To study the gaseous environment of the interstellar bubbles and get rid of the projection effect as much as possible, we constrain the velocity difference between the bubbles and the 13CO(1-0) emission extracted from the Galactic Ring Survey (GRS). Three methods: the mean azimuthally averaged radial profile of 13CO emission, the surface number density of molecular clumps and the angular cross-correlation function of MWP bubbles and the GRS molecular clumps are adopted. Significant over density of molecular gas is found to be close to the bubble rims. 60 percent of the studied bubbles were found to have associated molecular clumps. By comparing the clump-associated and the clump-unassociated MWP interstellar bubbles, we reveal that the bubbles in associations tend to be larger and thicker in physical sizes. From the different properties shown by the bubble-associated and bubble-unassociated clumps, we speculate that some of the bubble-associated clumps result from the expansion of bubbles. The fraction of the molecular clumps associated with the MWP bubbles is estimated to be about 20 percent after considering the projection effect. For the bubble-clump complexes, we found that the bubbles in the complexes with associated massive young stellar object(s) (MYSO(s)) have larger physical sizes, hence the complexes tend to be older. We propose that an evolutionary sequence might exist between the relatively younger MYSO-unassociated bubble-clump complexes and the MYSO-associated complexes.