The JCMT Gould Belt Survey: properties of star-forming filaments in Orion A North

Salji, C. J., Richer, J. S., Buckle, J. V., Francesco, J. D., Hatchell, J., Hogerheijde, M., Johnstone, D., Kirk, H. and Ward-Thompson, Derek orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1140-2761 (2015) The JCMT Gould Belt Survey: properties of star-forming filaments in Orion A North. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449 (2). pp. 1782-1796. ISSN 0035-8711

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We develop and apply a Hessian-based filament detection algorithm to submillimetre continuum observations of Orion A North. The resultant filament radial density profiles are fitted with beam-convolved line-of-sight Plummer-profiles using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques. The posterior distribution of the radial decay parameter demonstrates that the majority of filaments exhibit p = 1.5–3, with a mode at p = 2.2, suggesting deviation from the Ostriker p = 4 isothermal, equilibrium, self-gravitating cylinder. The spatial distribution of young stellar objects relative to the high column density filaments is investigated, yielding a lower limit on the star-forming age of the integral-shaped filament ∼1.4 Myr. Additionally, inferred lifetimes of filaments are examined which suggest long-term filament accretion, varying rates of star formation, or both. Theoretical filament stability measures are determined with the aid of HARP C18O J = 3–2 observations and indicate that the majority of filaments are gravitationally subcritical, despite the presence of young protostars. The results from this investigation are consistent with the one-dimensional accretion flow filament model recently observed in numerical simulations.

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