Star Formation in the Taurus Filament L 1495: From Dense Cores to Stars

Schmalzl, Markus; Kainulainen, Jouni; Quanz, Sascha P.; Alves, João; Goodman, Alyssa A.; Henning, Thomas; Launhardt, Ralf; Pineda, Jaime E.; Román-Zúñiga, Carlos G.
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 725, Issue 1, pp. 1327-1336 (2010).


We present a study of dense structures in the L 1495 filament in the Taurus Molecular Cloud and examine its star-forming properties. In particular, we construct a dust extinction map of the filament using deep near-infrared observations, exposing its small-scale structure in unprecedented detail. The filament shows highly fragmented substructures and a high mass-per-length value of M line = 17 M sun pc-1, reflecting star-forming potential in all parts of it. However, a part of the filament, namely B 211, is remarkably devoid of young stellar objects. We argue that in this region the initial filament collapse and fragmentation is still taking place and star formation is yet to occur. In the star-forming part of the filament, we identify 39 cores with masses from 0.4 to 10 M sun and preferred separations in agreement with the local Jeans length. Most of these cores exceed the Bonnor-Ebert critical mass, and are therefore likely to collapse and form stars. The dense core mass function follows a power law with exponent Γ = 1.2 ± 0.2, a form commonly observed in star-forming regions.

Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC).