Journal Article

The initial conditions of star formation – VIII. An observational study of the Ophiuchus cloud L1688 and implications for the pre-stellar core mass function

R. J. Simpson, D. Nutter and D. Ward-Thompson

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 1, pages 205-214
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13750.x
The initial conditions of star formation – VIII. An observational study of the Ophiuchus cloud L1688 and implications for the pre-stellar core mass function

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We reanalyse all of the archived observations of the Ophiuchus dark cloud L1688 that were carried out with the submillimetre common-user bolometer array on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. For the first time, we put together all the data that were taken of this cloud at different times to make a deeper map at 850 μm than has ever been published. Using this new, deeper map, we extract the pre-stellar cores from the data. We use updated values for the distance to the cloud complex, and also for the internal temperatures of the pre-stellar cores to generate an updated core mass function (CMF). This updated CMF is consistent with previous results in so far as they went, but our deeper map gives an improved completeness limit of 0.1 M (0.16 Jy), which enables us to show that a turnover exists in the low-mass regime of the CMF. The L1688 CMF shows the same form as the stellar initial mass function (IMF), and can be mapped on to the stellar IMF, showing that the IMF is determined at the pre-stellar core stage. We compare L1688 with the Orion star-forming region and find that the turnover in the L1688 CMF occurs at a mass roughly a factor of 2 lower than the CMF turnover in Orion. This suggests that the position of the CMF turnover may be a function of environment.

Keywords: stars: formation; dust, extinction; infrared: ISM; submillimetre: ISM

Journal Article.  4828 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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