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Title: Virial Clumps in Central Molecular Zone Clouds
Abstract CMZoom survey observations with the Submillimeter Array are analyzed to describe the virial equilibrium (VE) and star-forming potential of 755 clumps in 22 clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Milky Way. In each cloud, nearly all clumps follow the column density–mass trend N ∝ M s , where s = 0.38 ± 0.03 is near the pressure-bounded limit s p = 1/3. This trend is expected when gravitationally unbound clumps in VE have similar velocity dispersion and external pressure. Nine of these clouds also harbor one or two distinctly more massive clumps. These properties allow a VE model of bound and unbound clumps in each cloud, where the most massive clump has the VE critical mass. These models indicate that 213 clumps have velocity dispersion 1–2 km s −1 , mean external pressure (0.5–4) × 10 8 cm −3 K, bound clump fraction 0.06, and typical virial parameter α = 4–15. These mostly unbound clumps may be in VE with their turbulent cloud pressure, possibly driven by inflow from the Galactic bar. In contrast, most Sgr B2 clumps are bound according to their associated sources and N – M trends. When the CMZ clumps are combined more » into mass distributions, their typical power-law slope is analyzed with a model of stopped accretion. It also indicates that most clumps are unbound and cannot grow significantly, due to their similar timescales of accretion and dispersal, ∼0.2 Myr. Thus, virial and dynamical analyses of the most extensive clump census available indicate that star formation in the CMZ may be suppressed by a significant deficit of gravitationally bound clumps. « less
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Award ID(s):
2108938 1816715
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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