|A Water survey of massive star forming clumps in the inner Galaxy
|Water, as a dominant form of oxygen, the most abundant element in the universe after H and He, controls the chemistry of many other species. It is a unique diagnostic of warm gas and energetic processes taking place during star formation. We therefore propose to exploit the unique opportunity of Herschel to study water in large, statistically significant, flux limited samples of massive star forming regions detected in the recently completed ATLASGAL submm dust continuum survey of the inner Galactic plane. In the last years, our view of massive star forming regions has dramatically changed by Galactic plane surveys covering cm to IR wavelengths. These surveys enable us for the first time to study ALL evolutionary stages of massive star formation (MSF) in an unbiased way. Water, acting as a natural filter for warm, dense gas, allows to probe the chemical and physical conditions in all of these stages close to where the massive stars are forming or just have been formed. ATLASGAL observed submm dust continuum emission as best tracer of the earliest phases of MSF since it is directly probing the material from which the stars form. As a large unbiased survey it provide the statistical base to study the scarce and short-living protoclusters as the origin of the massive stars and the richest clusters in the Galaxy and supplies us with a legacy value sample of MSF regions for the water follow ups. Water is typically seen with strongly increased abundances in broad line wings, providing a new, sensitive probe of shocked outflowing gas. In addition, the envelope is probed in a combination of absorption and emission with a clear jump in abundance in the warm inner regions close to the forming massive stars. Only Herschel can provide a water survey of a large sample of ATLASGAL selected sources to study water through the evolution of massive star forming regions with a statistically significant sample size.
|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, 2013, OT2_fwyrowsk_3, SPG v14.2.0. https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-1f46lc9