S316p.29 — Radial Infall onto a Massive Molecular Filament

Date & Time

Aug 10th at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM




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Author(s): Cara Battersby1

Institution(s): 1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The newly discovered massive molecular filament G32.02+0.05 (~70 pc long, 10^5 Msun) has been shaped and compressed by older generations of massive stars. The densest portion of the filament, apparent as an Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC) appears to have been compressed on both sides by a pair of bubbles and now shows a range of massive star formation signatures throughout. We investigate the kinematics in this massive star-forming filament and find velocity coherence along the filament and global blue asymmetric line profiles. These line asymmetries are interpreted as a signature of large-scale radial collapse. Using line asymmetries observed with optically thick HCO+ (1-0) and optically thin H13CO+ (1-0) across a range of massive star forming regions in the filament, we estimate the global radial infall rate of the filament to range from a few 100 to a few 1000 Msun/Myr/pc^2. At its current infall rate the densest portions of the cloud will more than double their current mass within a Myr. The discovery of such a reservoir of infalling gas has important ramifications on the course of star formation in the cloud and on our overall understanding of star cluster formation.