Magnetically regulated fragmentation of a massive, dense, and turbulent clump

F. Fontani, B. Commerçon, A. Giannetti, M.T. Beltrán, A. Sánchez-Monge, L. Testi, J. Brand, P. Caselli, R. Cesaroni, Richard Dodson, S. Longmore, Maria Rioja , J.C. Tan, C.M. Walmsley

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24 Citations (Scopus)


© ESO, 2016.Massive stars, multiple stellar systems, and clusters are born of the gravitational collapse of massive, dense, gaseous clumps, and the way these systems form strongly depends on how the parent clump fragments into cores during collapse. Numerical simulations show that magnetic fields may be the key ingredient in regulating fragmentation. Here we present ALMA observations at ~ 0.25'' resolution of the thermal dust continuum emission at ~ 278 GHz towards a turbulent, dense, and massive clump, IRAS 16061-5048c1, in a very early evolutionary stage. The ALMA image shows that the clump has fragmented into many cores along a filamentary structure. We find that the number, the total mass, and the spatial distribution of the fragments are consistent with fragmentation dominated by a strong magnetic field. Our observations support the theoretical prediction that the magnetic field plays a dominant role in the fragmentation process of massive turbulent clumps.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL14
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


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