Detection of a dense clump in a filament interacting with W51e2
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

In the framework of the Herschel/PRISMAS guaranteed time key program, the line of sight to the distant ultracompact H ii region W51e2 has been observed using several selected molecular species. Most of the detected absorption features are not associated with the background high-mass star-forming region and probe the diffuse matter along the line of sight. We present here the detection of an additional narrow absorption feature at ~70 km s-1 in the observed spectra of HDO, NH3 and C3. The 70 km s-1 feature is not uniquely identifiable with the dynamic components (the main cloud and the large-scale foreground filament) so-far identified toward this region. The narrow absorption feature is similar to the one found toward low-mass protostars, which is characteristic of the presence of a cold external envelope. The far-infrared spectroscopic data were combined with existing ground-based observations of 12CO, 13CO, CCH, CN, and C3H2 to characterize the 70 km s-1 component. Using a non-LTE analysis of multiple transitions of NH3 and CN, we estimated the density (n(H2) ~ (1-5) × 105 cm-3) and temperature (10-30 K) for this narrow feature. We used a gas-grain warm-up based chemical model with physical parameters derived from the NH3 data to explain the observed abundances of the different chemical species. We propose that the 70 km s-1 narrow feature arises in a dense and cold clump that probably undergoes collapse to form a low-mass protostar, formed on the trailing side of the high-velocity filament, which is thought to be interacting with the W51 main cloud. While the fortuitous coincidence of the dense clump along the line of sight with the continuum-bright W51e2 compact H ii region has contributed to its nondetection in the continuum images, this same attribute makes it an appropriate source for absorption studies and in particular for ice studies of star-forming regions. Based on data acquired with Herschel and IRAM observatories. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

interstellar matter

interstellar molecules



B. Mookerjea

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

C. Vastel

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

Université de Toulouse

G.E. Hassel

Siena College

M. Gerin

LERMA - Laboratoire d'Etudes du Rayonnement et de la Matiere en Astrophysique et Atmospheres

J. Pety

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

LERMA - Laboratoire d'Etudes du Rayonnement et de la Matiere en Astrophysique et Atmospheres

P. F. Goldsmith

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

John H Black

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik

T. Giesen

Universität Kassel

T. Harrison

Siena College

Carina Persson

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik

J. Stutzki

Universität zu Köln

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 566 June A61, pp. 1-11 A61


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi


Grundläggande vetenskaper


Onsala rymdobservatorium



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