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  1. Abstract

    In this work, we constrain the star-forming properties of all possible sites of incipient high-mass star formation in the Milky Way’s Galactic Center. We identify dense structures using the CMZoom 1.3 mm dust continuum catalog of objects with typical radii of ∼0.1 pc, and measure their association with tracers of high-mass star formation. We incorporate compact emission at 8, 21, 24, 25, and 70μm from the Midcourse Space Experiment, Spitzer, Herschel, and SOFIA, cataloged young stellar objects, and water and methanol masers to characterize each source. We find an incipient star formation rate (SFR) for the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of ∼0.08Myr−1over the next few 105yr. We calculate upper and lower limits on the CMZ’s incipient SFR of ∼0.45 and ∼0.05Myr−1,respectively, spanning roughly equal to and several times greater than other estimates of CMZ’s recent SFR. Despite substantial uncertainties, our results suggest the incipient SFR in the CMZ may be higher than previously estimated. We find that the prevalence of star formation tracers does not correlate with source volume density, but instead ≳75% of high-mass star formation is found in regions above a column density ratio (NSMA/NHerschel) of ∼1.5. Finally, we highlight the detection ofatoll sources, a reoccurring morphology of cold dust encircling evolved infrared sources, possibly representing Hiiregions in the process of destroying their envelopes.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. In this Letter we report Very Long Baseline Array observations of 22 GHz water masers toward the protostar CARMA–6 , located at the center of the Serpens South young cluster. From the astrometric fits to maser spots, we derive a distance of 440.7±3.5 pc for the protostar (1% error). This represents the best direct distance determination obtained so far for an object this young and deeply embedded in this highly obscured region. Taking depth effects into account, we obtain a distance to the cluster of 440.7 ± 4.6 pc. Stars visible in the optical that have astrometric solutions in the Gaia Data Release 3 are, on the other hand, all located at the periphery of the cluster. Their mean distance of 437 −41 +51 pc is consistent within 1 σ with the value derived from maser astrometry. As the maser source is at the center of Serpens South, we finally solve the ambiguity of the distance to this region that has prevailed over the years. 
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  3. Abstract We report high-resolution ALMA observations toward a massive protostellar core C1-Sa (∼30 M ⊙ ) in the Dragon infrared dark cloud. At the resolution of 140 au, the core fragments into two kernels (C1-Sa1 and C1-Sa2) with a projected separation of ∼1400 au along the elongation of C1-Sa, consistent with a Jeans length scale of ∼1100 au. Radiative transfer modeling using RADEX indicates that the protostellar kernel C1-Sa1 has a temperature of ∼75 K and a mass of 0.55 M ⊙ . C1-Sa1 also likely drives two bipolar outflows, one being parallel to the plane of the sky. C1-Sa2 is not detected in line emission and does not show any outflow activity but exhibits ortho-H 2 D + and N 2 D + emission in its vicinity; thus it is likely still starless. Assuming a 20 K temperature, C1-Sa2 has a mass of 1.6 M ⊙ . At a higher resolution of 96 au, C1-Sa1 begins to show an irregular shape at the periphery, but no clear sign of multiple objects or disks. We suspect that C1-Sa1 hosts a tight binary with inclined disks and outflows. Currently, one member of the binary is actively accreting while the accretion in the other is significantly reduced. C1-Sa2 shows hints of fragmentation into two subkernels with similar masses, which requires further confirmation with higher sensitivity. 
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  4. Abstract

    Magnetic fields of molecular clouds in the central molecular zone (CMZ) have been relatively under-observed at sub-parsec resolution. Here, we report JCMT/POL2 observations of polarized dust emission in the CMZ, which reveal magnetic field structures in dense gas at ∼0.5 pc resolution. The 11 molecular clouds in our sample include two in the western part of the CMZ (Sgr C and a farside cloud candidate), four around the Galactic longitude 0 (the 50 km s−1cloud, CO 0.02−0.02, theStone, and theSticksandStrawamong the Three Little Pigs), and five along the Dust Ridge (G0.253+0.016, clouds b, c, d, and e/f), for each of which we estimate the magnetic field strength using the angular dispersion function method. The morphologies of magnetic fields in the clouds suggest potential imprints of feedback from expanding Hiiregions and young massive star clusters. A moderate correlation between the total viral parameter versus the star formation rate (SFR) and the dense gas fraction of the clouds is found. A weak correlation between the mass-to-flux ratio and the SFR, and a weak anticorrelation between the magnetic field and the dense gas fraction are also found. Comparisons between magnetic fields and other dynamic components in clouds suggest a more dominant role of self-gravity and turbulence in determining the dynamical states of the clouds and affecting star formation at the studied scales.

     
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  5. Abstract G10.21-0.31 is a 70 μ m dark high-mass starless core ( M > 300 M ⊙ within r < 0.15 pc) identified in the Spitzer, Herschel, and APEX continuum surveys, and is believed to harbor the initial stages of high-mass star formation. We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and Submillimeter Array observations to resolve the internal structure of this promising high-mass starless core. Sensitive high-resolution ALMA 1.3 mm dust continuum emission reveals three cores of mass ranging within 11–18 M ⊙ , characterized by a turbulent fragmentation. Cores 1, 2, and 3 represent a coherent evolution of three different stages, characterized by outflows (CO and SiO), gas temperature (H 2 CO), and deuteration (N 2 D + /N 2 H + ). We confirm the potential for formation of high-mass stars in G10.21 and explore the evolution path of high-mass star formation. Yet, no high-mass prestellar core is present in G10.21. This suggests a dynamical star formation where cores grow in mass over time. 
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  6. The Haystack Telescope is an antenna with a diameter of 37 m and an elevation-dependent surface accuracy of ≤100μm that is capable of millimeter-wave observations. The radome-enclosed instrument serves as a radar sensor for space situational awareness, with about one-third of the time available for research by MIT Haystack Observatory. Ongoing testing with the K-band (18–26 GHz) and W-band receivers (currently 85–93 GHz) is preparing the inclusion of the telescope into the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) array and the use as a single-dish research telescope. Given its geographic location, the addition of the Haystack Telescope to current and future versions of the EHT array would substantially improve the image quality. 
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  7. Context. The 1°.3 (G1.3) and 1°.6 (G1.6) cloud complexes in the central molecular zone (CMZ) of our Galaxy have been proposed to possibly reside at the intersection region of the X1 and X2 orbits for several reasons. This includes the detection of co-spatial low- and high-velocity clouds, high velocity dispersion, high fractional molecular abundances of shock-tracing molecules, and kinetic temperatures that are higher than for usual CMZ clouds. Aims. By investigating the morphology and deriving physical properties as well as chemical composition, we want to find the origin of the turbulent gas and, in particular, whether evidence of an interaction between clouds can be identified. Methods. We mapped both cloud complexes in molecular lines in the frequency range from 85 to 117 GHz with the IRAM 30 m telescope. The APEX 12m telescope was used to observe higher frequency transitions between 210 and 475 GHz from selected molecules that are emitted from higher energy levels. We performed non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) modelling of the emission of an ensemble of CH 3 CN lines to derive kinetic temperatures and H 2 volume densities. These were used as starting points for non-LTE modelling of other molecules, for which column densities and abundances were determined and compared with values found for other sources in the CMZ. Results. The kinematic structure of G1.3 reveals an ‘emission bridge’ at intermediate velocities (~150 km s −1 ) connecting low-velocity (~100 km s −1 ) and high-velocity (~180 km s −1 ) gas and an overall fluffy shell-like structure. These may represent observational evidence of cloud-cloud interactions. Low- and high-velocity gas components in G1.6 do not show this type of evidence of an interaction, suggesting that they are spatially separated. We selected three positions in each cloud complex for further analysis. Each position reveals several gas components at various peak velocities and of various line widths. We derived kinetic temperatures of 60–100 K and H 2 volume densities of 10 4 –10 5 cm −3 in both complexes. Molecular abundances relative to H 2 suggest a similar chemistry of the two clouds, which is moreover similar to that of other GC clouds and, especially, agrees well with that of G+0.693 and G−0.11. Conclusions. We conclude that G1.3 may indeed exhibit signs of cloud-cloud interactions. In particular, we propose an interaction of gas that is accreted from the near-side dust lane to the CMZ, with gas pre-existing at this location. Low- and high-velocity components in G1.6 are rather coincidentally observed along the same line of sight. They may be associated with either overshot decelerated gas from the far-side dust line or actual CMZ gas and high-velocity gas moving on a dust lane. These scenarios would be in agreement with numerical simulations. 
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  8. Abstract

    Wide-field near-infrared (NIR) polarimetry was used to examine disk systems around two brown dwarfs (BDs) and two young stellar objects (YSOs) embedded in the Heiles Cloud 2 (HCl2) dark molecular cloud in Taurus as well as numerous stars located behind HCl2. Inclined disks exhibit intrinsic NIR polarization due to scattering of photospheric light, which is detectable even for unresolved systems. After removing polarization contributions from magnetically aligned dust in HCl2 determined from the background star information, significant intrinsic polarization was detected from the disk systems of one BD (ITG 17) and both YSOs (ITG 15, ITG 25), but not from the other BD (2M0444). The ITG 17 BD shows good agreement of the disk orientation inferred from the NIR and from published Atacama Large Millimeter/submillieter Array dust continuum imaging. ITG 17 was also found to reside in a 5200 au wide binary (or hierarchical quad star system) with the ITG 15 YSO disk system. The inferred disk orientations from the NIR for ITG 15 and ITG 17 are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the local magnetic field direction. The multiplicity of the system and the large BD disk nature could have resulted from formation in an environment characterized by misalignment of the magnetic field and the protostellar disks.

     
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  9. ABSTRACT

    We present an overview and data release of the spectral line component of the SMA Large Program, CMZoom. CMZoom observed 12CO (2–1), 13CO (2–1), and C18O (2–1), three transitions of H2CO, several transitions of CH3OH, two transitions of OCS, and single transitions of SiO and SO within gas above a column density of N(H2) ≥ 1023 cm−2 in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ; inner few hundred pc of the Galaxy). We extract spectra from all compact 1.3 mm CMZoom continuum sources and fit line profiles to the spectra. We use the fit results from the H2CO 3(0, 3)–2(0, 2) transition to determine the source kinematic properties. We find ∼90 per cent of the total mass of CMZoom sources have reliable kinematics. Only four compact continuum sources are formally self-gravitating. The remainder are consistent with being in hydrostatic equilibrium assuming that they are confined by the high external pressure in the CMZ. We find only two convincing proto-stellar outflows, ruling out a previously undetected population of very massive, actively accreting YSOs with strong outflows. Finally, despite having sufficient sensitivity and resolution to detect high-velocity compact clouds (HVCCs), which have been claimed as evidence for intermediate mass black holes interacting with molecular gas clouds, we find no such objects across the large survey area.

     
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  10. Abstract Using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), we have conducted a survey for 22 GHz, 6 1,6 –5 2,3 H 2 O masers toward the Serpens South region. The masers were also observed with the Very Long Baseline Array following the VLA detections. We detect for the first time H 2 O masers in the Serpens South region that are found to be associated to three Class 0–Class I objects, including the two brightest protostars in the Serpens South cluster, known as CARMA-6 and CARMA-7. We also detect H 2 O masers associated to a source with no outflow or jet features. We suggest that this source is most probably a background asymptotic giant branch star projected in the direction of Serpens South. The spatial distribution of the emission spots suggest that the masers in the three Class 0–Class I objects emerge very close to the protostars and are likely excited in shocks driven by the interaction between a protostellar jet and the circumstellar material. Based on the comparison of the distributions of bolometric luminosity of sources hosting 22 GHz H 2 O masers and 162 young stellar objects covered by our observations, we identify a limit of L Bol ≈ 10 L ⊙ for a source to host water masers. However, the maser emission shows strong variability in both intensity and velocity spread, and therefore masers associated to lower-luminosity sources may have been missed by our observations. We also report 11 new sources with radio continuum emission at 22 GHz. 
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