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Low-velocity shocks traced by extended SiO emission along the W43 ridges: witnessing the formation of young massive clusters

Nguy˜ˆen-Lu’o’ng, Q., Motte, F., Carlhoff, P., Louvet, F., Lesaffre, P., Schilke, P., Hill, T., Hennemann, M., Gusdorf, A., Didelon, P., Schneider, N., Bontemps, S., Duarte Cabral, Ana ORCID:, Menten, K. M., Martin, P. G., Wyrowski, F., Bendo, G., Roussel, H., Bernard, J.-P., Bronfman, L., Henning, T., Kramer, C. and Heitsch, F. 2013. Low-velocity shocks traced by extended SiO emission along the W43 ridges: witnessing the formation of young massive clusters. Astrophysical Journal 775 (2) , 88. 10.1088/0004-637X/775/2/88

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The formation of high-mass stars is tightly linked to that of their parental clouds. Here, we focus on the high-density parts of W43, a molecular cloud undergoing an efficient event of star formation. Using a column density image derived from Herschel continuum maps, we identify two high-density filamentary clouds, called the W43-MM1 and W43-MM2 ridges. Both have gas masses of 2.1 × 104 M ☉ and 3.5 × 104 M ☉ above >10$^{23}\, \mbox{$\mbox{cm}^{-2}$}$ and within areas of ~6 and ~14 pc2, respectively. The W43-MM1 and W43-MM2 ridges are structures that are coherent in velocity and gravitationally bound, despite their large velocity dispersion measured by the N2H+ (1-0) lines of the W43-HERO IRAM large program. Another intriguing result is that these ridges harbor widespread (~10 pc2) bright SiO (2-1) emission, which we interpret to be the result of low-velocity shocks (≤10 km s–1). We measure a significant relationship between the SiO (2-1) luminosity and velocity extent and show that it distinguishes our observations from the high-velocity shocks associated with outflows. We use state-of-the-art shock models to demonstrate that a small percentage (10%) of Si atoms in low-velocity shocks, observed initially in gas phase or in grain mantles, can explain the observed SiO column density in the W43 ridges. The spatial and velocity overlaps between the ridges of high-density gas and the shocked SiO gas suggest that ridges could be forming via colliding flows driven by gravity and accompanied by low-velocity shocks. This mechanism may be the initial conditions for the formation of young massive clusters.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: IOP Science
ISSN: 0004-637X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 July 2013
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 12:14

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