Redshifted methanol absorption tracing infall motions of high-mass star formation regions

W. J. Yang, K. M. Menten, A. Y. Yang, F. Wyrowski, Y. Gong, S. P. Ellingsen, C. Henkel, X. Chen, Y. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context. Gravitational collapse is one of the most important processes in high-mass star formation. Compared with the classic blue-skewed profiles, redshifted absorption against continuum emission is a more reliable method to detect inward motions within high-mass star formation regions. Aims. We aim to test if methanol transitions can be used to trace infall motions within high-mass star formation regions. Methods. Using the Effelsberg-100 m, IRAM-30 m, and APEX-12 m telescopes, we carried out observations of 37 and 16 methanol transitions towards two well-known collapsing dense clumps, W31C (G10.6a0.4) and W3(OH), to search for redshifted absorption features or inverse P-Cygni profiles. Results. Redshifted absorption is observed in 14 and 11 methanol transitions towards W31C and W3(OH), respectively. The infall velocities fitted from a simple two-layer model agree with previously reported values derived from other tracers, suggesting that redshifted methanol absorption is a reliable tracer of infall motions within high-mass star formation regions. Our observations indicate the presence of large-scale inward motions, and the mass infall rates are roughly estimated to be a ³10a3 Ma yra1, which supports the global hierarchical collapse and clump-fed scenario. Conclusions. With the aid of bright continuum sources and the overcooling of methanol transitions leading to enhanced absorption, redshifted methanol absorption can trace infall motions within high-mass star formation regions hosting bright Hâà  ¯II regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA192
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume658
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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