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Paper: From Stellar Protoclusters to Infrared Dark Clouds
Volume: 387, Massive Star Formation: Observations Confront Theory
Page: 50
Authors: Peretto, N.; Fuller, G.A.; André, P.; Hennebelle, P.
Abstract: We present recent results on the early stages of star formation in clusters, based on millimeter and mid-infrared observations, as well as on numerical simulations. From detailed comparisons of IRAM 30m observations of the NGC 2264-C protocluster with SPH simulations we confirmed and strongly constrain the large-scale gravitational collapse of this protocluster. In particular, we suggest that massive dense cores, direct progenitors of massive stars, may form by merg- ing of lower mass cores in the central part of a collapsing protocluster. In order to confirm such a scenario, studies on a large sample of sources still containing the initial conditions of high-mass star formation are required. We have thus started a follow-up survey of few thousands infrared dark clouds, believed to be the progenitors of protoclusters, using Spitzer data from the GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL galactic plane surveys. Analysing the spatial column density distribution of the most opaque clouds, we find evidence that external large scale compression might be at the origin of the formation of NGC 2264-like clumps. This result has to be confirmed through molecular line observations.
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