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Radiatively driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability candidates around a forming massive star system
NACO adaptive optics and VISIR study of G333.6-0.2

M. S. N. Kumar

The formation of the highest mass stars are thought to be dominated by instabilities resulting from gravitation and radiation. Instabilities due to gravitation are commonly demonstrated by observations of fragmentation, but those due to effects of radiation have thus far not been found. Here I report on the NACO adaptive optics and mid-infrared diffraction-limited VISIR imaging data of an extemely luminous ultra-compact HII region G333.6-0.2. Two infrared sources, one bright in the near-infrared (appearing point-like) and another in the mid-infrared (resolved with an elliptical shape) are uncovered through this data, which are located at the heart of this region. These infrared sources appear to be embedded in the waist of a bipolar-shaped nebula and UCHII region, the lobes of which are separated by a dark patch. Dense filamentary features with finger/hook morphology are found; they appear to be connected to the two bright infrared sources and the sizes of these hook features are sharply limited to <5000 AU. The observed properties of this target and a large amount of previous data obtained from the literature are compared together with the results of various numerical simulations of high-mass star formation. This comparison favours the interpretation that the finger/hook-like structures likely represent radiatively driven Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities arising in the outflow cavity of a forming high-mass binary star system.

stars: formation – stars: massive – HII regions

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 558, Number of pages A119_1
2013 October

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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
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