Kinematics and physical properties of young proto-clusters

  • Ana Cabral

Student thesis: Phd


The formation of stars begins with the fragmentation of molecular clouds and the formation of dense cores. This fragmentation process can either be the result of classical gravitational instabilities or triggered by some external event. The gas and dust of young protoclusters often hold the imprints of the initial conditions and triggers of that specific star forming episode.In this context, my thesis work is a study of the gas properties of young protoclus- ters within the Gould Belt. The first part of my work consists of a detailed study of the young Serpens star forming region with CO isotopologues. This study has revealed a complex temperature, column density and velocity structure. I proposed a scenario where a collision between two filamentary clouds or flows is responsible for the observed complex structure and the most recent burst of star formation in Serpens. This hypothesis was tested with SPH simulations and provides a plausible scenario.I am currently extending this work to other regions with a variety of star formation efficiencies, in search of the particular physical properties and dynamics of a molecular cloud that allow or prevent clouds to be in the verge of forming stars. As such, I have included in this manuscript my study of the gas in the B59 star forming region, the only active clump in the Pipe Nebula. The results from this study have shown it to be very different from Serpens, even though further studies are needed to provide a complete picture of the region. B59 was taken as the starting point for a larger study of the entire Pipe Nebula, driven by the peculiarly low star formation efficiency in the cloud and a test to the physical properties of cores prior to star formation.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGary Fuller (Supervisor)


  • ISM kinematics and dynamics
  • molecular clouds
  • star formation

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