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  1. Abstract

    The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy withbar lanesthat bring gas toward the Galactic center. Gas flowing along these bar lanes often overshoots, and instead of accreting onto the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), it collides with the bar lane on the opposite side of the Galaxy. We observed G5, a cloud that we believe is the site of one such collision, near the Galactic center at (,b) = ( +5.4, −0.4) with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array/Atacama Compact Array. We took measurements of the spectral lines12COJ= 2 → 1,13COJ= 2 → 1, C18OJ= 2 → 1, H2COJ= 303→ 202, H2COJ= 322→ 221, CH3OHJ= 422→ 312, OCSJ= 18 → 17, and SiOJ= 5 → 4. We observed a velocity bridge between two clouds at ∼50 and ∼150 km s−1in our position–velocity diagram, which is direct evidence of a cloud–cloud collision. We measured an average gas temperature of ∼60 K in G5 using H2CO integrated-intensity line ratios. We observed that the12C/13C ratio in G5 is consistent with optically thin, or at most marginally optically thick12CO. We measured1.5×1019cm2(Kkms1)1for the local XCO, 10–20× less than the average Galactic value. G5 is strong direct observational evidence of gas overshooting the CMZ and colliding with a bar lane on the opposite side of the Galactic center.

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    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

    The molecular gas in galaxies traces both the fuel for star formation and the processes that can enhance or suppress star formation. Observations of the molecular gas state can thus point to when and why galaxies stop forming stars. In this study, we present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of the molecular gas in galaxies evolving through the post-starburst phase. These galaxies have low current star formation rates (SFRs), regardless of the SFR tracer used, with recent starbursts ending within the last 600 Myr. We present CO (3–2) observations for three post-starburst galaxies, and dense gas HCN/HCO+/HNC (1–0) observations for six (four new) post-starburst galaxies. The post-starbursts have low excitation traced by the CO spectral-line energy distribution up to CO (3–2), more similar to early-type than starburst galaxies. The low excitation indicates that lower density rather than high temperatures may suppress star formation during the post-starburst phase. One galaxy displays a blueshifted outflow traced by CO (3–2). MaNGA observations show that the ionized gas velocity is disturbed relative to the stellar velocity field, with a blueshifted component aligned with the molecular gas outflow, suggestive of a multiphase outflow. Low ratios of HCO+/CO, indicating low fractions of dense molecular gas relative to the total molecular gas, are seen throughout post-starburst phase, except for the youngest post-starburst galaxy considered here. These observations indicate that the impact of any feedback or quenching processes may be limited to low excitation and weak outflows in the cold molecular gas during the post-starburst phase.

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    Understanding the chemical processes during starless core and prestellar core evolution is an important step in understanding the initial stages of star and disc formation. This project is a study of deuterated ammonia, o-NH2D, in the L1251 star-forming region towards Cepheus. Twenty-two dense cores (20 of which are starless or prestellar, and two of which have a protostar), previously identified by p-NH3 (1,1) observations, were targeted with the 12m Arizona Radio Observatory telescope on Kitt Peak. o-NH2D J$_{\rm {K_a} \rm {K_c}}^{\pm } =$$1_{11}^{+} \rightarrow 1_{01}^{-}$ was detected in 13 (59 per cent) of the NH3-detected cores with a median sensitivity of $\sigma _{T_{mb}} = 17$ mK. All cores detected in o-NH2D at this sensitivity have p-NH3 column densities >1014 cm−2. The o-NH2D column densities were calculated using the constant excitation temperature (CTEX) approximation while correcting for the filling fraction of the NH3 source size. The median deuterium fraction was found to be 0.11 (including 3σ upper limits). However, there are no strong, discernible trends in plots of deuterium fraction with any physical or evolutionary variables. If the cores in L1251 have similar initial chemical conditions, then this result is evidence of the cores physically evolving at different rates.

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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 Determining the level of chemical complexity within dense starless and gravitationally bound pre-stellar cores is crucial for constructing chemical models, which subsequently constrain the initial chemical conditions of star formation. We have searched for complex organic molecules (COMs) in the young starless core L1521E, and report the first clear detection of dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), and vinyl cyanide (CH2CHCN). Eight transitions of acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) were also detected, five of which (A states) were used to determine an excitation temperature to then calculate column densities for the other oxygen-bearing COMs. If source size was not taken into account (i.e. if filling fraction was assumed to be one), column density was underestimated, and thus we stress the need for higher resolution mapping data. We calculated L1521E COM abundances and compared them to other stages of low-mass star formation, also finding similarities to other starless/pre-stellar cores, suggesting related chemical evolution. The scenario that assumes formation of COMs in gas-phase reactions between precursors formed on grains and then ejected to the cold gas via reactive desorption was tested and was unable to reproduce observed COM abundances, with the exception of CH3CHO. These results suggest that COMs observed in cold gas are formed not by gas-phase reactions alone, but also through surface reactions on interstellar grains. Our observations present a new, unique challenge for existing theoretical astrochemical models. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
  8. 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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  9. ABSTRACT Recent observations indicate that organic molecules are prevalent towards starless and pre-stellar cores. Deuteration of these molecules has not been well studied during the starless phase. Published observations of singly deuterated methanol, CH2DOH, have only been observed in a couple of well-studied, dense, and evolved pre-stellar cores (e.g. L1544, L183). Since the formation of gas-phase methanol during this cold phase is believed to occur via desorption from the icy grain surfaces, observations of CH2DOH may be useful as a probe of the deuterium fraction in the ice mantles of dust grains. We present a systematic survey of CH2DOH towards 12 starless and pre-stellar cores in the B10 region of the Taurus molecular cloud. Nine of the 12 cores are detected with [CH2DOH]/[CH3OH] ranging from <0.04 to 0.23$^{+0.12}_{-0.06}$ with a median value of 0.11. Sources not detected tend to have larger virial parameters and larger methanol linewidths than detected sources. The results of this survey indicate that deuterium fractionation of organic molecules, such as methanol, during the starless phase may be more easily detectable than previously thought. 
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  10. null (Ed.)
    Context. Stars form in cold dense cores showing subsonic velocity dispersions. The parental molecular clouds display higher temperatures and supersonic velocity dispersions. The transition from core to cloud has been observed in velocity dispersion, but temperature and abundance variations are unknown. Aims. We aim to measure the temperature and velocity dispersion across cores and ambient cloud in a single tracer to study the transition between the two regions. Methods. We use NH 3 (1,1) and (2,2) maps in L1688 from the Green Bank Ammonia Survey, smoothed to 1′, and determine the physical properties by fitting the spectra. We identify the coherent cores and study the changes in temperature and velocity dispersion from the cores to the surrounding cloud. Results. We obtain a kinetic temperature map extending beyond dense cores and tracing the cloud, improving from previous maps tracing mostly the cores. The cloud is 4–6 K warmer than the cores, and shows a larger velocity dispersion (Δ σ v = 0.15–0.25 km s −1 ). Comparing to Herschel -based dust temperatures, we find that cores show kinetic temperatures that are ≈1.8 K lower than the dust temperature, while the gas temperature is higher than the dust temperature in the cloud. We find an average p-NH 3 fractional abundance (with respect to H 2 ) of (4.2 ± 0.2) × 10 −9 towards the coherent cores, and (1.4 ± 0.1) × 10 −9 outside the core boundaries. Using stacked spectra, we detect two components, one narrow and one broad, towards cores and their neighbourhoods. We find the turbulence in the narrow component to be correlated with the size of the structure (Pearson- r = 0.54). With these unresolved regional measurements, we obtain a turbulence–size relation of σ v,NT ∝ r 0.5 , which is similar to previous findings using multiple tracers. Conclusions. We discover that the subsonic component extends up to 0.15 pc beyond the typical coherent boundaries, unveiling larger extents of the coherent cores and showing gradual transition to coherence over ~0.2 pc. 
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