Simpson et al. 2008

July 29, 2008 — Leave a comment

Finally my paper studying the Ophiuchus star-forming region is done and dusted and has been accepted for publication. Thanks to one of my intrepid co-authors, that paper appeared today on astro-ph, the preprint paper listing for astronomy and astrophysical theses.

We re-analyse all of the archive observations of the Ophiuchus dark cloud L1688 that were carried out with the submillimetre common-user bolometer array (SCUBA) at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). For the first time we put together all of the data that were taken of this cloud at different times to make a deeper map at 850 microns than has ever previously been published. Using this new, deeper map we extract the pre-stellar cores from the data. We use updated values for the distance to the cloud complex, and also for the internal temperatures of the pre-stellar cores to generate an updated core mass function (CMF). This updated CMF is consistent with previous results in so far as they went, but our deeper map gives an improved completeness limit of 0.1 Mo (0.16 Jy), which enables us to show that a turnover exists in the low-mass regime of the CMF. The L1688 CMF shows the same form as the stellar IMF and can be mapped onto the stellar IMF, showing that the IMF is determined at the prestellar core stage. We compare L1688 with the Orion star-forming region and find that the turnover in the L1688 CMF occurs at a mass roughly a factor of two lower than the CMF turnover in Orion. This suggests that the position of the CMF turnover may be a function of environment.

It is a study of star formation and prestellar cores, the objects that precede protostars. You can access the online abstract and get more information at arXiv.org or simply download the PDF from Orbiting Frog.

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