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NIR jets from a clustered region of massive star formation. Morphology and composition in the IRAS 18264-1152 region

A. R. Costa Silva, R. Fedriani, J. C. Tan, A. Caratti o Garatti, S. Ramsay, V. Rosero, G. Cosentino, P. Gorai, S. Leurini

Context. Massive stars play crucial roles in determining the physical and chemical evolution of galaxies. However, they form deeply embedded in their parental clouds, making it challenging to directly observe these stars and their immediate environments. It is known that accretion and ejection processes are intrinsically related, thus observing the massive protostellar outflows can provide crucial information about the processes governing massive star formation very close to the central engine.
Aims. We aim to probe the IRAS 18264-1152 (also known as G19.88-0.53) high-mass star-forming complex in the near infrared (NIR) through its molecular hydrogen (H2) jets to analyse the morphology and composition of the line emitting regions and to compare with other outflow tracers.
Methods. We observed the H2 NIR jets via K-band (1.9–2.5 μm) observations obtained with the integral field units VLT/SINFONI and VLT/KMOS. VLT/SINFONI provides the highest NIR angular resolution achieved so far for the central region of IRAS 18264-1152 (~0.2′′). We compared the geometry of the NIR outflows with that of the associated molecular outflow, probed by CO (2-1) emission mapped with the Submillimeter Array.
Results. We identify nine point sources in the SINFONI and KMOS fields of view. Four of these display a rising continuum in the K-band and are Brγ emitters, revealing that they are young, potentially jet-driving sources. The spectro-imaging analysis focusses on the H2 jets, for which we derived visual extinction, temperature, column density, area, and mass. The intensity, velocity, and excitation maps based on H2 emission strongly support the existence of a protostellar cluster in this region, with at least two (and up to four) different large-scale outflows, found through the NIR and radio observations. We compare our results with those found in the literature and find good agreement in the outflow morphology. This multi-wavelength comparison also allows us to derive a stellar density of ~4000 stars pc−3.
Conclusions. Our study reveals the presence of several outflows driven by young sources from a forming cluster of young, massive stars, demonstrating the utility of such NIR observations for characterising massive star-forming regions. Moreover, the derived stellar number density together with the geometry of the outflows suggest that stars can form in a relatively ordered manner in this cluster.

ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: massive / stars: individual: IRAS 18264-1152 / techniques: spectroscopic

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 659, Article Number A23, Number of pages 22
2022 March

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia