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Title: THE DARKEST SHADOWS: DEEP MID-INFRARED EXTINCTION MAPPING OF A MASSIVE PROTOCLUSTER

We use deep 8 μm Spitzer-IRAC imaging of massive Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC) G028.37+00.07 to construct a mid-infrared (MIR) extinction map that probes mass surface densities up to Σ ∼ 1 g cm{sup –2} (A{sub V} ∼ 200 mag), amongst the highest values yet probed by extinction mapping. Merging with an NIR extinction map of the region creates a high dynamic range map that reveals structures down to A{sub V} ∼ 1 mag. We utilize the map to: (1) measure a cloud mass ∼7 × 10{sup 4} M {sub ☉} within a radius of ∼8 pc. {sup 13}CO kinematics indicate that the cloud is gravitationally bound. It thus has the potential to form one of the most massive young star clusters known in the Galaxy. (2) Characterize the structures of 16 massive cores within the IRDC, finding they can be fit by singular polytropic spheres with ρ∝r{sup −k{sub ρ}} and k {sub ρ} = 1.3 ± 0.3. They have Σ-bar ≃0.1--0.4 g cm{sup −2}—relatively low values that, along with their measured cold temperatures, suggest that magnetic fields, rather than accretion-powered radiative heating, are important for controlling fragmentation of these cores. (3) Determine the Σ (equivalently column density or A{sub V} )more » probability distribution function (PDF) for a region that is nearly complete for A{sub V} > 3 mag. The PDF is well fit by a single log-normal with mean A-bar {sub V}≃9 mag, high compared to other known clouds. It does not exhibit a separate high-end power law tail, which has been claimed to indicate the importance of self-gravity. However, we suggest that the PDF does result from a self-similar, self-gravitating hierarchy of structures present over a wide range of scales in the cloud.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich (Switzerland)
  2. Departments of Astronomy and Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
  3. Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117, Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22363975
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 782; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COSMIC DUST; DENSITY; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; FRAGMENTATION; GRAVITATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAPPING; MASS; MILKY WAY; POTENTIALS; PROBABILITY; PROBES; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS