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A New Search for Star Forming Regions in the Southern Outer Galaxy

König, C., Urquhart, J.S., Wyrowski, F., Colombo, D., Menten, K.M. (2021) A New Search for Star Forming Regions in the Southern Outer Galaxy. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 645 . Article Number A113. ISSN 0004-6361. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039523) (KAR id:83545)


Context. Star-formation in the outer Galaxy is thought to be different from the inner Galaxy, as it is subject to different environmental parameters such as metallicity, interstellar radiation field, or mass surface density that all change with Galactocentric radius. Extending our knowledge on star-formation from the inner to the outer Galaxy helps us to understand the influences of the change of the environment on star formation throughout the Milky Way. Aims. We therefore aimed at getting a more detailed view on the structure of the outer Galaxy, determining physical properties for a large number of star forming clumps and understanding star-formation outside the Solar circle. As one of the largest expanding Galactic supershells is present in the observed region, a unique opportunity is used here to investigate the influence of such an expanding structure on star-formation as well. Methods. We use pointed \(^{12}\)CO(2–1) observations conducted with the APEX telescope to determine the velocity components towards 830 dust clumps identified from 250 µm Herschel/Hi-GAL SPIRE emission maps in the outer Galaxy between 225° < \(\ell\) < 260°. We determined kinematic distances from the velocity components, in order to analyze the structure of the outer Galaxy and to estimate physical properties such as dust temperatures, bolometric luminosities, clump masses, and H\(_2\) column densities for 611 clumps. For this, we determined the dust spectral energy density distributions from archival mid-infrared to sub-millimeter emission maps.

Results. We find the identified CO clouds to be strongly correlated with the highest column density parts of the Hi emission distribution, spanning a web of bridges, spurs and blobs of star forming regions between the larger complexes, unveiling the complex three-dimensional structure of the outer Galaxy in unprecedented detail. Using the physical properties of the clumps, we find an upper limit of 6% (40 sources) to be able to form high-mass stars. This is supported by the fact that only 2 methanol Class II masers or 34 known or candidate Hii regions are found in the whole survey area, indicating an even lower fraction to be able to form high-mass stars in the outer Galaxy. We fail to find any correlation of the physical parameters of the identified (potential) star forming regions with the expanding supershell, indicating that although the shell organizes the interstellar material into clumps, the properties of the latter are unaffected.Conclusions. Using the APEX telescope in combination with publicly available Hi-GAL, MSX and Wise continuum emission maps, we were able to investigate the structure and properties of a region of the Milky Way in unprecedented detail.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1051/0004-6361/202039523
Uncontrolled keywords: stars: massive – stars: formation – stars: evolution – surveys Galaxy: structure ISM: bubbles
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: James Urquhart
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2020 13:05 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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