Properties and evolution of dense structures in the interstellar medium

Abstract : In this thesis I present a study of two kinds of dense ISM structures: compact cold sources detected by Planck and dense condensations in a photodissociation region (PDR), namely the Orion Bar detected by ground-based and Herschel telescopes. Both kinds of structures are closely related to star formation. The cold sources are investigated as potentially gravitationally bound, prestellar, objects. The Orion Bar is a highly FUV-illuminated (G0=104) prototypical PDR, with several known protoplanetary disks, illuminated by the young Trapezium stars.First I introduce a paper published in A&A: The Physical state of selected cold clumps. In this paper we compared the Herschel dust continuum observations from the open time key program Galactic Cold Cores to ground based molecular line observations from the 20-m radio telescope of the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden. The clumps were selected based on their brightness and low dust color temperatures (T=10-15 K). We calculated the virial and Bonnor-Ebert masses and compared them to the masses calculated from the observations. The results indicate that most of the observed cold clumps are not necessarily prestellar.Then I move on to the warm and dense condensations of the ISM. In my study of the Orion Bar, I use observations from PACS instrument on board Herschel from the open time program Unveiling the origin and excitation mechanisms of the warm CO, OH and CH+. I present maps of 110”x110” of the methylidyne cation (CH+ J=3-2), OH doublets at 84 µm, and high-J CO (J=19-18). This is the first time that these PDR tracers are presented in such a high spatial resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio. The CH+ and OH have critical densities (1010 cm-3) and upper level energy temperatures (250 K). In addition the endothermicity of the CH+ + H2 reaction (4300 K) that forms CH+ is comparable to the activation barrier of the O + H2 reaction (4800 K) forming OH. Given these similarities it is interesting to compare their emission. The spatial distribution of CH+ and OH shows the same clumpy structure of the Bar that has been seen in other observations. The morphology of CH+ and H2 confirms that CH+ formation and excitation is strongly dependent on the vibrationally excited H2, while OH is not. The peak in the OH 84 µm emission corresponds to a bright young object, identified as the externally illuminated protoplanetary disk 244-440.Finally, I study the high-J CO in the Orion Bar. I also introduce low- and mid-J CO observations of the area. The high-J CO morphology shows a clumpy structure in the Bar and we establish a link between the dense core of the clumps, traced in CS J=2-1 by Lee et al. (2013) and in H13CN by Lis and Schilke (2003). We also show that the high-J CO is mainly excited by the UV heating.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 3:23:26 PM
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Anna Parikka. Properties and evolution of dense structures in the interstellar medium. Galactic Astrophysics [astro-ph.GA]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015PA112221⟩. ⟨tel-01230553⟩



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