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Star formation in a high-pressure environment: An SMA view of the dust ridge

  • Daniel L. Walker (a1) (a2) and CMZoom Survey Group (PIs: Eric Keto & Cara Battersby) (a2)

Abstract

The star formation rate in the Central Molecular Zone is an order of magnitude lower than in the disk of the Galaxy, given the amount of dense gas there. Understanding why star formation is different in this region is crucial if we are to understand the environmental dependence of star formation. Here, we present the detection of high-mass cores in the CMZ’s ‘dust ridge’ that have been discovered with the Submillimeter Array. These cores range in mass from ~ 50 – 1800 M within radii of 0.1 – 0.25 pc. All are young (pre-UCHII), meaning that they are prime candidates for representing the initial conditions of high-mass stars and sub-clusters. We compare these with high-mass cores and clouds in the Galactic disk and find that they are very similar in terms of their masses and sizes, despite being subjected to external pressures that are several magnitudes greater (~ 108 K cm−3). The fact that > 80% of these cores do not show any signs of star-forming activity in such a high-pressure environment leads us to conclude that this is further evidence of the critical density for star formation being heightened in the CMZ due to turbulence.

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References

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Keywords

Star formation in a high-pressure environment: An SMA view of the dust ridge

  • Daniel L. Walker (a1) (a2) and CMZoom Survey Group (PIs: Eric Keto & Cara Battersby) (a2)

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