Herschel Observations of the Earliest Phases of Star Formation

James Di Francesco (Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-01-23 16:00 - 17:00
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
The Herschel Space Observatory is revolutionising our understanding of star formation. Its access to far-infrared and submillimetre continuum emission over wide fields has revealed structures related to star formation in nearby molecular clouds like no other telescope has before. In this talk, I will summarise the current results of one ongoing Herschel Key Projects, the Gould Belt Survey (GBS) that is studying the early phases of star formation across the entireties of molecular clouds through the continuum emission of filaments, clumps and cores. In particular, I will describe how the revealed core mass functions can appear to be similar to that of the stellar IMF, and how star-forming cores appear to reside predominantly in dense filaments. In addition, I will describe how these filaments appear to have similar physical widths, possibly due to their turbulent origins. Finally, I will describe Herschel observations of a newly identified dense region without previous star formation where cores appears to be forming for the first time.
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