The molecular environment of the pillar-like features in the H ii region G46.5-0.2

Paron, S.; Celis Peña, M.; Ortega, M. E.; Fariña, C.; Petriella, A.; Rubio, M.; Ashley, R. P.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 470, Issue 4, p.4662-4670 (2017).


At the interface of H ii regions and molecular gas, peculiar structures appear, some of them with pillar-like shapes. Understanding their origin is important for characterizing triggered star formation and the impact of massive stars on the interstellar medium. In order to study the molecular environment and influence of radiation on two pillar-like features related to the H ii region G46.5-0.2, we performed molecular line observations with the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment and spectroscopic optical observations with the Isaac Newton Telescope. From the optical observations, we identified the star that is exciting the H ii region as spectral type O4-6. The molecular data allowed us to study the structure of the pillars and an HCO+ cloud lying between them. In this HCO+cloud, which has no well-defined 12CO counterpart, we found direct evidence of star formation: two molecular outflows and two associated near-IR nebulosities. The outflow axis orientation is perpendicular to the direction of the radiation flow from the H ii region. Several Class I sources are also embedded in this HCO+ cloud, showing that it is usual that young stellar objects (YSOs) form large associations occupying a cavity bounded by pillars. On the other hand, it was confirmed that the radiation-driven implosion (RDI) process is not occurring in one of the pillar tips.