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We present the first data release of the ALMA-IMF Large Program, which covers the 12m-array continuum calibration and imaging. The ALMA-IMF Large Program is a survey of fifteen dense molecular cloud regions spanning a range of evolutionary stages that aims to measure the core mass function. We describe the data acquisition and calibration done by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observatory and the subsequent calibration and imaging we performed. The image products are combinations of multiple 12 m array configurations created from a selection of the observed bandwidth using multi-term, multi-frequency synthesis imaging and deconvolution. The data products are self-calibrated and exhibit substantial noise improvements over the images produced from the delivered data. We compare different choices of continuum selection, calibration parameters, and image weighting parameters, demonstrating the utility and necessity of our additional processing work. Two variants of continuum selection are used and will be distributed: the “best-sensitivity” ( bsens ) data, which include the full bandwidth, including bright emission lines that contaminate the continuum, and “cleanest” ( cleanest ), which select portions of the spectrum that are unaffected by line emission. We present a preliminary analysis of the spectral indices of the continuum data, showing that themore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
ALMA-IMF: I. Investigating the origin of stellar masses: Introduction to the Large Program and first resultsAims. Thanks to the high angular resolution, sensitivity, image fidelity, and frequency coverage of ALMA, we aim to improve our understanding of star formation. One of the breakthroughs expected from ALMA, which is the basis of our Cycle 5 ALMA-IMF Large Program, is the question of the origin of the initial mass function (IMF) of stars. Here we present the ALMA-IMF protocluster selection, first results, and scientific prospects. Methods. ALMA-IMF imaged a total noncontiguous area of ~53 pc 2 , covering extreme, nearby protoclusters of the Milky Way. We observed 15 massive (2.5 −33 × 10 3 M ⊙ ), nearby (2−5.5 kpc) protoclusters that were selected to span relevant early protocluster evolutionary stages. Our 1.3 and 3 mm observations provide continuum images that are homogeneously sensitive to point-like cores with masses of ~0.2 M ⊙ and ~0.6 M ⊙ , respectively, with a matched spatial resolution of ~2000 au across the sample at both wavelengths. Moreover, with the broad spectral coverage provided by ALMA, we detect lines that probe the ionized and molecular gas, as well as complex molecules. Taken together, these data probe the protocluster structure, kinematics, chemistry, and feedback over scales from clouds to filaments to cores.more »Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
Dust polarized emission observations of NGC 6334: BISTRO reveals the details of the complex but organized magnetic field structure of the high-mass star-forming hub-filament networkContext. Molecular filaments and hubs have received special attention recently thanks to new studies showing their key role in star formation. While the (column) density and velocity structures of both filaments and hubs have been carefully studied, their magnetic field (B-field) properties have yet to be characterized. Consequently, the role of B-fields in the formation and evolution of hub-filament systems is not well constrained. Aims. We aim to understand the role of the B-field and its interplay with turbulence and gravity in the dynamical evolution of the NGC 6334 filament network that harbours cluster-forming hubs and high-mass star formation. Methods. We present new observations of the dust polarized emission at 850 μ m toward the 2 pc × 10 pc map of NGC 6334 at a spatial resolution of 0.09 pc obtained with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) as part of the B-field In STar-forming Region Observations (BISTRO) survey. We study the distribution and dispersion of the polarized intensity ( PI ), the polarization fraction ( PF ), and the plane-of-the-sky B-field angle ( χ B_POS ) toward the whole region, along the 10 pc-long ridge and along the sub-filaments connected to the ridge and the hubs. We derivedmore »