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15th of November 2018
Very Young, Massive Protostars in a Collapsing Molecular Cloud
by Pitts et al.
Pitts et al. have recently presented multi-wavelength data on the globally infalling molecular cloud/protostellar cluster BYF 73. These include new far-IR spectral line and continuum data from SOFIA's Far Infrared Field-Imaging Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS), mid-infrared (MIR) observations with the Thermal-Region Camera Spectrograph (T-ReCS) on Gemini-South, and 3 mm continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), plus archival data from Spitzer/IRAC, and Herschel/PACS and SPIRE.

The T-ReCS data reveal eight protostellar objects in the cloud, of which six appear highly obscured, i.e., deeply embedded, near the cloud's center. MIR 2 has the most massive core at 240 solar masses, significantly more massive than all the others combined. The fact that cloud's total embedded stellar mass is far less than its gas mass suggests BYF 73 is at a relatively early stage of evolution. The image above shows the 8 point sources detected in part of the ∼1 arcmin wide Gemini-South/T-ReCS mosaic. This composite image has been overlaid by ATCA 3mm continuum contours (magenta). Full results are published in the Astrophysical Journal

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