|Galactic Origins of Star Formation in the W43 Complex (GLOW)
|Star formation is one of the most important processes in the universe, strongly influencing the evolution and structure of matter on all scales. Still the early phases are not totally understood. The progression from low density gas and dust to star forming cores still awaits a persistent description. One model that aspires to explain molecular cloud formation is the converging flows model. The term refers to the convergence of HI streams that can naturally be driven by gas motion within Galactic arms. The theory of converging flows is the first one that can explain star formation self-consistently. It sets the stage for rapid dispersal (fragmentation into filamentary structures) of molecular clouds and explains naturally the observed short lifetimes of star forming stages which have, for long, been a problem. We propose to map three parts of the giant molecular complex W43, that show examples of converging flows and filamentary structure in C+. This line is known to be a good tracer of the transitional phase between atomic and molecular gas, particularly the phase where the gas is already molecular, but CO has not formed yet. We strive to observe the selected targets with Herschels HIFI instrument, to obtain detailed spectral information. With the addition of large scale maps of 13CO, that we have taken with the IRAM 30m and JCMT, this will give us a coherent picture of the region, needed to investigate the fluctuation of the molecular gas and compare these results to the theoretical models of converging flows. The main scientific questions of this project are: (a) How do colliding flows of molecular gas form and how do they form filamentary structures? (b) How do these flows affect the formation of dense cores and thus accelerate star formation? The results of this proposal, complemented by other projects, will give deep insight into unknown mechanisms of star formation and, beyond that, pave the way to follow-u...p observations with Herschel and other observatories.
|Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009! It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. With a 3.5 m Cassegrain telescope it is the largest space telescope ever launched. It is performing photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-671 µm range, bridging the gap between earlier infrared space missions and groundbased facilities.
|Publisher And Registrant
|European Space Agency
|European Space Agency, 2012, OT1_pcarlhof_1, SPG v14.1.0. https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-bnrlo9s