A co line and infrared continuum study of the active star-forming complex W51

Miju Kang, John H Bieging, Craig A. Kulesa, Youngung Lee, Minho Choi, William L. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We present the results of an extensive observational study of the active star-forming complex W51 that was observed in the J = 2 - 1 transition of the 12CO and 13CO molecules over a 1. ° 25 × 1. ° 00 region with the University of Arizona Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope. We use a statistical equilibrium code to estimate physical properties of the molecular gas. We compare the molecular cloud morphology with the distribution of infrared (IR) and radio continuum sources and find associations between molecular clouds and young stellar objects (YSOs) listed in Spitzer IR catalogs. The ratios of CO lines associated with Hii regions are different from the ratios outside the active star-forming regions. We present evidence of star formation triggered by the expansion of the Hii regions and by cloud-cloud collisions. We estimate that about 1% of the cloud mass is currently in YSOs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-76
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Hii regions
  • ISM: individual objects (W51)
  • Infrared: ISM
  • Radio lines: ISM
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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