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The Structure and Evolution of Prestellar Cores

Friday September 14, 2018
3:30 pm

 Presenter:  Yancy Shirley, University of Arizona
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  Starless cores and gravitationally bound prestellar cores represent the initial phase of star formation prior to the formation of a protostar.  We must understand the structure and evolution of these objects if we wish to constrain the initial conditions for star formation.  Observations from the Herschel Space Observatory of optically thin dust continuum at sub-millimeter wavelengths have provided the most complete census of the hierarchical structure of nearby molecular clouds and the starless cores embedded within them.  These clouds consists largely of filamentary structures with most starless cores embedded within filaments.  Molecular line mapping observations from tracers such as NH3 probe the kinematics of the dense gas.  A rich chemistry is observed in prestellar cores, including complex organic prebiotic molecules, and this chemistry may be used to constrain the evolution of the cores. I shall review our current knowledge of the physical structure (including viral state), kinematic structure, and chemical structure of starless and prestellar cores and highlight remaining challenges to our understanding of this initial phase of star formation.
 Host:  Ylva Pihlström
 File:  https://youtu.be/cDoDD8J_BlM
 Location:  Room 125, Dane Smith Hall

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 03:15 pm, in in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

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