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Paper: Reliability of Observed Core Mass Spectra
Volume: 418, AKARI, a Light to Illuminate the Misty Universe
Page: 407
Authors: Malinen, J.; Juvela, M.; Padoan, P.
Abstract: We examine the mass estimation of starless cores. By using magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) and radiative transfer simulations we produce synthetic sub-millimetre and infrared surface brightness maps. Based on these maps we estimate dust temperature of cloud cores and cloud column densities. The ‘observed’ core mass spectra are compared with the true mass spectra. Our results can be used to estimate the reliability and the biases of the core mass spectra obtained from dust continuum observations. The largest errors in the mass estimates are found to be caused by the uncertainty in the dust absorption cross sections. A wrong assumption of the emissivity index can also cause a significant systematic error in the estimated dust temperatures and thus bias the masses. However, these cause a multiplicative error that leaves the slope of the mass spectrum practically intact. Taking into account the expected spatial variations of dust properties the slope of the core mass spectrum can change by ∼0.5. However, if one considers only the high end of the mass spectrum obtained from noisy observations, the effect may no longer be visible above the observational errors.
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