From the convergence of filaments to disk-outflow accretion: Massive star formation in W33A

Roberto Galván-Madrid, Qizhou Zhang, Eric Keto, Paul T P Ho, Luis A. Zapata, Luis F. Rodríguez, Jaime E. Pineda, Enrique Vázquez-Semadeni

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    Interferometric observations of the W33A massive star formation region, performed with the Submillimeter Array and the Very Large Array at resolutions from 5" (0.1 pc) to 0."5 (0.01 pc), are presented. Our three main findings are: (1) parsec-scale, filamentary structures of cold molecular gas are detected. Two filaments at different velocities intersect in the zone where the star formation is occurring. This is consistent with triggering of the star formation activity by the convergence of such filaments, as predicted by numerical simulations of star formation initiated by converging flows. (2) The two dusty cores (MM1 and MM2) at the intersection of the filaments are found to be at different evolutionary stages, and each of them is resolved into multiple condensations. MM1 and MM2 have markedly different temperatures, continuum spectral indices, molecular-line spectra, and masses of both stars and gas. (3) The dynamics of the "hot-core" MM1 indicates the presence of a rotating disk in its center (MM1-Main) around a faint free-free source. The stellar mass is estimated to be ∼10M⊙. A massive molecular outflow is observed along the rotation axis of the disk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-28
    Number of pages11
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2010


    • Hii regions - ISM: individual objects (W33A) - Stars: formation


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