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Temperature as a third dimension in column-density mapping of dusty astrophysical structures associated with star formation

Marsh, K. A., Whitworth, A. P. and Lomax, O. 2015. Temperature as a third dimension in column-density mapping of dusty astrophysical structures associated with star formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 454 (4) , pp. 4282-4292. 10.1093/mnras/stv2248

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We present point process mapping (PPMAP), a Bayesian procedure that uses images of dust continuum emission at multiple wavelengths to produce resolution-enhanced image cubes of differential column density as a function of dust temperature and position. PPMAP is based on the generic ‘point process formalism, whereby the system of interest (in this case, a dusty astrophysical structure such as a filament or pre-stellar core) is represented by a collection of points in a suitably defined state space. It can be applied to a variety of observational data, such as Herschel images, provided only that the image intensity is delivered by optically thin dust in thermal equilibrium. PPMAP takes full account of the instrumental point-spread functions and does not require all images to be degraded to the same resolution. We present the results of testing using simulated data for a pre-stellar core and a fractal turbulent cloud, and demonstrate its performance with real data from the Herschel infrared Galactic Plane Survey (Hi-GAL). Specifically, we analyse observations of a large filamentary structure in the CMa OB1 giant molecular cloud. Histograms of differential column density indicate that the warm material (T ≳ 13 K) is distributed lognormally, consistent with turbulence, but the column densities of the cooler material are distributed as a high-density tail, consistent with the effects of self-gravity. The results illustrate the potential of PPMAP to aid in distinguishing between different physical components along the line of sight in star-forming clouds, and aid the interpretation of the associated Probability distribution functions (PDFs) of column density.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 28 September 2015
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 09:30

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