Filaments and ridges in Vela C revealed by Herschel: from low-mass to high-mass star-forming sites
Publication date: 07 Sep 2011
Authors: T. Hill, et al.
Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Copyright: ESOWe present the first Herschel PACS and SPIRE results of the Vela C molecular complex in the far-infrared and submillimetre regimes at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 micron, spanning the peak of emission of cold prestellar or protostellar cores. Column density and multi-resolution analysis (MRA) differentiates the Vela C complex into five distinct sub-regions. Each sub-region displays differences in their column density and temperature probability distribution functions (PDFs), in particular, the PDFs of the "Centre-Ridge" and "South-Nest" sub-regions appear in stark contrast to each other. The Centre-Ridge displays a bimodal temperature PDF representative of hot gas surrounding the HII region RCW 36 and the cold neighbouring filaments, whilst the South-Nest is dominated by cold filamentary structure. The column density PDF of the Centre-Ridge is flatter than the South-Nest, with a high column density tail, consistent with formation through large-scale flows, and regulation by self-gravity. At small to intermediate scales MRA indicates the Centre-Ridge to be twice as concentrated as the South-Nest, whilst on larger scales, a greater portion of the gas in the South-Nest is dominated by turbulence than in the Centre-Ridge. In Vela C, high-mass stars appear to be preferentially forming in ridges, i.e., dominant high column density filaments.