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Paper: Molecular Cooling as a Probe of Star Formation: Spitzer Looking Forward to Herschel
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 289
Authors: Bergin, E. A.; Maret, S.; Yuan, Y.; Sonnentrucker, P.; Green, J. D.; Watson, D. M.; Harwit, M. O.; Kristensen, L. E.; Melnick, G. J.; Tolls, V.; Werner, M. W.; Willacy, K.
Abstract: We explore here the question of how cloud physics can be more directly probed when one observes the majority of cooling emissions from molecular gas. For this purpose we use results from a recent Spitzer Space Telescope study of the young cluster of embedded objects in NGC 1333. For this study we mapped the emission from eight pure H2 rotational lines, from S(0) to S(7). The H2 emission appears to be associated with the warm gas shocked by the multiple outflows present in the region. The H2 lines are found to contribute to 25 – 50% of the total outflow luminosity, and can be used to more directly ascertain the importance of star formation feedback on the natal cloud. From these lines, we determine the outflow mass loss rate and, indirectly, the stellar infall rate, the outflow momentum and the kinetic energy injected into the cloud over the embedded phase. The latter is found to exceed the binding energy of individual cores, suggesting that outflows could be the main mechanism for cores disruption. Given the recent launch of Herschel and the upcoming operational lifetime of SOFIA we discuss how studies of molecular cooling can take a step beyond understanding thermal balance to exploring the origin, receipt, and transfer of energy in atomic and molecular gas in a wide range of physical situations.
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