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J. M. Rathborne, E. T. Chambers, J. M. Jackson (Boston University), R. Simon (Universitat zu Koln)
Infrared Dark Clouds are a distinct class of interstellar gas cloud identified as dark extinction features seen in silhouette against the bright Galactic background at mid-IR wavelengths. Our recent 1.2 mm continuum emission survey of IRDCs reveal many compact (< 0.5 pc) and massive (10 to 2100 Msun) cores within them. About 1/3 of these cores show evidence for active star-formation; shocked gas, outflows, and embedded protostars. Here we present recent high-resolution spectral line maps [13CO(1--0) and C18O(2--1)] and millimeter continuum images obtained with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer toward the four most massive of the active IRDC cores. These data allow us to establish whether their large bolometric luminosities arise from a single massive protostar, or a cluster of lower mass objects. We also see evidence for a circumstellar disk around one of these cores.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.