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  1. Abstract We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Band 3 data toward five massive young stellar objects (MYSOs), and investigate relationships between unsaturated carbon-chain species and saturated complex organic molecules (COMs). An HC 5 N ( J = 35–34) line has been detected from three MYSOs, where nitrogen (N)-bearing COMs (CH 2 CHCN and CH 3 CH 2 CN) have been detected. The HC 5 N spatial distributions show compact features and match with a methanol (CH 3 OH) line with an upper-state energy around 300 K, which should trace hot cores. The hot regions are more extended around the MYSOs where N-bearing COMs and HC 5 N have been detected compared to two MYSOs without these molecular lines, while there are no clear differences in the bolometric luminosity and temperature. We run chemical simulations of hot-core models with a warm-up stage, and compare with the observational results. The observed abundances of HC 5 N and COMs show good agreements with the model at the hot-core stage with temperatures above 160 K. These results indicate that carbon-chain chemistry around the MYSOs cannot be reproduced by warm carbon-chain chemistry, and a new type of carbon-chain chemistry occurs in hot regions around MYSOs. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024

    Low-mass stars like our Sun begin their evolution within cold (10 K) and dense (∼105 cm−3) cores of gas and dust. The physical structure of starless cores is best probed by thermal emission of dust grains. We present a high-resolution dust continuum study of the starless cores in the B10 region of the Taurus Molecular Cloud. New observations at 1.2 and 2.0 mm (12 and 18 arcsec resolution) with the NIKA2 instrument on the IRAM 30m have probed the inner regions of 14 low-mass starless cores. We perform sophisticated 3D radiative transfer modelling for each of these cores through the radiative transfer framework pandora, which utilizes RADMC-3D. Model best-fits constrain each cores’ central density, density slope, aspect ratio, opacity, and interstellar radiation field strength. These ‘typical’ cores in B10 span central densities from 5 × 104 to 1 × 106 cm−3, with a mean value of 2.6 × 105 cm−3. We find the dust opacity laws assumed in the 3D modelling, as well as the estimates from Herschel, have dust emissivity indices, β’s, on the lower end of the distribution constrained directly from the NIKA2 maps, which averages to β = 2.01 ± 0.48. From our 3D density structures and archival NH3 data, we perform a self-consistent virial analysis to assess each core’s stability. Ignoring magnetic field contributions, we find nine out of the 14 cores (64  per cent) are either in virial equilibrium or are bound by gravity and external pressure. To push the bounded cores back to equilibrium, an effective magnetic field difference of only ∼15 $\mu$G is needed.

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  3. Abstract

    We report a comprehensive study of the cyanopolyyne chemistry in the prototypical prestellar core L1544. Using the 100 m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, we observe three emission lines of HC3N, nine lines of HC5N, five lines of HC7N, and nine lines of HC9N. HC9N is detected for the first time toward the source. The high spectral resolution (∼0.05 km s−1) reveals double-peak spectral line profiles with the redshifted peak a factor 3–5 brighter. Resolved maps of the core in other molecular tracers indicate that the southern region is redshifted. Therefore, the bulk of the cyanopolyyne emission is likely associated with the southern region of the core, where free carbon atoms are available to form long chains, thanks to the more efficient illumination of the interstellar field radiation. We perform a simultaneous modeling of the HC5N, HC7N, and HC9N lines to investigate the origin of the emission. To enable this analysis, we performed new calculation of the collisional coefficients. The simultaneous fitting indicates a gas kinetic temperature of 5–12 K, a source size of 80″, and a gas density larger than 100 cm−3. The HC5N:HC7N:HC9N abundance ratios measured in L1544 are about 1:6:4. We compare our observations with those toward the well-studied starless core TMC-1 and with the available measurements in different star-forming regions. The comparison suggests that a complex carbon chain chemistry is active in other sources and is related to the presence of free gaseous carbon. Finally, we discuss the possible formation and destruction routes in light of the new observations.

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  4. Abstract

    Characterizing the physical conditions at disk scales in class 0 sources is crucial for constraining the protostellar accretion process and the initial conditions for planet formation. We use ALMA 1.3 and 3 mm observations to investigate the physical conditions of the dust around the class 0 binary IRAS 16293–2422 A down to ∼10 au scales. The circumbinary material’s spectral index,α, has a median of 3.1 and a dispersion of ∼0.2, providing no firm evidence of millimeter-sized grains therein. Continuum substructures with brightness temperature peaks ofTb∼ 60–80 K at 1.3 mm are observed near the disks at both wavelengths. These peaks do not overlap with strong variations ofα, indicating that they trace high-temperature spots instead of regions with significant optical depth variations. The lower limits to the inferred dust temperature in the hot spots are 122, 87, and 49 K. Depending on the assumed dust opacity index, these values can be several times higher. They overlap with high gas temperatures and enhanced complex organic molecular emission. This newly resolved dust temperature distribution is in better agreement with the expectations from mechanical instead of the most commonly assumed radiative heating. In particular, we find that the temperatures agree with shock heating predictions. This evidence and recent studies highlighting accretion heating in class 0 disks suggest that mechanical heating (shocks, dissipation powered by accretion, etc.) is important during the early stages and should be considered when modeling and measuring properties of deeply embedded protostars and disks.

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    Filamentary structures have been found nearly ubiquitously in molecular clouds and yet their formation and evolution is still poorly understood. We examine a segment of Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1) that appears as a single, narrow filament in continuum emission from dust. We use the Regularized Optimization for Hyper-Spectral Analysis (ROHSA), a Gaussian decomposition algorithm that enforces spatial coherence when fitting multiple velocity components simultaneously over a data cube. We analyse HC5N (9–8) line emission as part of the Green Bank Ammonia Survey and identify three velocity-coherent components with ROHSA. The two brightest components extend the length of the filament, while the third component is fainter and clumpier. The brightest component has a prominent transverse velocity gradient of 2.7 ± 0.1 km s−1 pc−1 that we show to be indicative of gravitationally induced inflow. In the second component, we identify regularly spaced emission peaks along its length. We show that the local minima between pairs of adjacent HC5N peaks line up closely with submillimetre continuum emission peaks, which we argue is evidence for fragmentation along the spine of TMC-1. While coherent velocity components have been described as separate physical structures in other star-forming filaments, we argue that the two bright components identified in HC5N emission in TMC-1 are tracing two layers in one filament: a lower density outer layer whose material is flowing under gravity towards the higher density inner layer of the filament.

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  6. Abstract We use 3 mm continuum NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array and NH 3 Very Large Array observations toward the First Hydrostatic Core (FHSC) candidate CB 17 MMS in order to reveal the dust structure and gas properties to 600–1100 au scales and to constrain its evolutionary stage. We do not detect any compact source at the previously identified 1.3 mm point source, despite expecting a minimum signal-to-noise ratio of 9. The gas traced by NH 3 exhibits subsonic motions, with an average temperature of 10.4 K. A fit of the radial column density profile derived from the ammonia emission finds a flat inner region of radius ∼1800 au and a central density of ∼6 × 10 5 cm −3 . Virial and density structure analysis reveals the core is marginally bound ( α vir = 0.73). The region is entirely consistent with that of a young starless core, hence ruling out CB 17 MMS as an FHSC candidate. Additionally, the core exhibits a velocity gradient aligned with the major axis, showing an arc-like structure in the position–velocity diagram and an off-center region with high velocity dispersion, caused by two distinct velocity peaks. These features could be due to interactions with the nearby outflow, which appears to deflect due to the dense gas near the NH 3 column density peak. We investigate the specific angular momentum profile of the starless core, finding that it aligns closely with previous studies of similar radial profiles in Class 0 sources. This similarity to more evolved objects suggests that motions at 1000 au scales are determined by large-scale dense cloud motions, and may be preserved throughout the early stages of star formation. 
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  7. Abstract Spectral lines of ammonia, NH 3 , are useful probes of the physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores. In addition to advantages in spectroscopy, ammonia has also been suggested to be resistant to freezing onto grain surfaces, which should make it a superior tool for studying the interior parts of cold, dense cores. Here we present high-resolution NH 3 observations with the Very Large Array and Green Bank Telescope toward a prestellar core. These observations show an outer region with a fractional NH 3 abundance of X (NH 3 ) = (1.975 ± 0.005) × 10 −8 (±10% systematic), but it also reveals that, after all, the X (NH 3 ) starts to decrease above a H 2 column density of ≈2.6 × 10 22 cm −2 . We derive a density model for the core and find that the break point in the fractional abundance occurs at the density n (H 2 ) ∼ 2 × 10 5 cm −3 , and beyond this point the fractional abundance decreases with increasing density, following the power law n −1.1 . This power-law behavior is well reproduced by chemical models where adsorption onto grains dominates the removal of ammonia and related species from the gas at high densities. We suggest that the break-point density changes from core to core depending on the temperature and the grain properties, but that the depletion power law is anyway likely to be close to n −1 owing to the dominance of accretion in the central parts of starless cores. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects have been shown recently as a robust mechanism of averting the magnetic braking ‘catastrophe’ and promoting protostellar disc formation. However, the magnetic diffusivities that determine the efficiency of non-ideal MHD effects are highly sensitive to microphysics. We carry out non-ideal MHD simulations to explore the role of microphysics on disc formation and the interplay between ambipolar diffusion (AD) and Hall effect during the protostellar collapse. We find that removing the smallest grain population (≲10 nm) from the standard MRN size distribution is sufficient for enabling disc formation. Further varying the grain sizes can result in either a Hall-dominated or an AD-dominated collapse; both form discs of tens of au in size regardless of the magnetic field polarity. The direction of disc rotation is bimodal in the Hall-dominated collapse but unimodal in the AD-dominated collapse. We also find that AD and Hall effect can operate either with or against each other in both radial and azimuthal directions, yet the combined effect of AD and Hall is to move the magnetic field radially outward relative to the infalling envelope matter. In addition, microphysics and magnetic field polarity can leave profound imprints both on observables (e.g. outflow morphology, disc to stellar mass ratio) and on the magnetic field characteristics of protoplanetary discs. Including Hall effect relaxes the requirements on microphysics for disc formation, so that prestellar cores with cosmic ray ionization rate of ≲2–3 × 10−16 s−1 can still form small discs of ≲10 au radius. We conclude that disc formation should be relatively common for typical prestellar core conditions, and that microphysics in the protostellar envelope is essential to not only disc formation, but also protoplanetary disc evolution. 
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  9. Abstract Prestellar cores represent the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation. Their low temperatures (<10 K) allow the formation of thick icy dust mantles, which will be partially preserved in future protoplanetary disks, ultimately affecting the chemical composition of planetary systems. Previous observations have shown that carbon- and oxygen-bearing species, in particular CO, are heavily depleted in prestellar cores due to the efficient molecular freeze-out onto the surface of cold dust grains. However, N-bearing species such as NH 3 and, in particular, its deuterated isotopologues appear to maintain high abundances where CO molecules are mainly in the solid phase. Thanks to ALMA, we present here the first clear observational evidence of NH 2 D freeze-out toward the L1544 prestellar core, suggestive of the presence of a “complete depletion zone” within a ≃1800 au radius, in agreement with astrochemical prestellar core model predictions. Our state-of-the-art chemical model coupled with a non-LTE radiative transfer code demonstrates that NH 2 D becomes mainly incorporated in icy mantles in the central 2000 au and starts freezing out already at ≃7000 au. Radiative transfer effects within the prestellar core cause the NH 2 D(1 11 − 1 01 ) emission to appear centrally concentrated, with a flattened distribution within the central ≃3000 au, unlike the 1.3 mm dust continuum emission, which shows a clear peak within the central ≃1800 au. This prevented NH 2 D freeze-out from being detected in previous observations, where the central 1000 au cannot be spatially resolved. 
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  10. null (Ed.)