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06 August 2020
 
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G11.92-0.61-MM2: A Bonafide Massive Prestellar Core?
C. J. Cyganowski ; C. L. Brogan ; T. R. Hunter ; D. Graninger ; K. I. Öberg ; A. Vasyunin ; Q. Zhang ; R. Friesen ; S. Schnee ;
Date 9 Oct 2014
AbstractCore accretion models of massive star formation require the existence of stable massive starless cores, but robust observational examples of such objects have proven elusive. We report subarcsecond-resolution SMA 1.3 mm, 1.1 mm, and 0.88 mm and VLA 1.3 cm observations of an excellent massive starless core candidate, G11.92-0.61-MM2, initially identified in the course of studies of GLIMPSE Extended Green Objects (EGOs). Separated by ~7.2" from the nearby MM1 protostellar hot core, MM2 is a strong, compact dust continuum source (submillimeter spectral index alpha=2.6+/-0.1), but is devoid of star formation indicators. In contrast to MM1, MM2 has no masers, no centimeter continuum, and no (sub)millimeter wavelength line emission in ~24 GHz of bandwidth observed with the SMA, including N2H+(3-2), HCO+(3-2), and HCN(3-2). Additionally, there is no evidence for an outflow driven by MM2. The (sub)millimeter spectral energy distribution (SED) of MM2 is best fit with a dust temperature of ~17-19 K and luminosity of ~5-7 L_sun. The combined physical properties of MM2, as inferred from its dust continuum emission, are extreme: M>30 M_sun within a radius<1000 AU, N(H2)>10^25 cm^-2 and n(H2)>10^9 cm^-3. Comparison of the molecular abundance limits derived from our SMA observations with gas-grain chemical models indicates that extremely dense (n(H)>>10^8 cm^-3), cold (<20 K) conditions are required to explain the lack of observed (sub)millimeter line emission, consistent with the dust continuum results. Our data suggest that G11.92-0.61-MM2 is the best candidate for a bonafide massive prestellar core found to date, and a promising target for future, higher-sensitivity observations.
Source arXiv, 1410.2605
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