Ubiquitous NH3 supersonic component in L1688 coherent cores

Spandan Choudhury, Jaime E. Pineda, Paola Caselli, Adam Ginsburg, Stella S.R. Offner, Erik Rosolowsky, Rachel K. Friesen, Felipe O. Alves, Ana Chacón-Tanarro, Anna Punanova, Elena Redaelli, Helen Kirk, Philip C. Myers, Peter G. Martin, Yancy Shirley, Michael Chun-Yuan Chen, Alyssa A. Goodman, James Di Francesco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Context. Star formation takes place in cold dense cores in molecular clouds. Earlier observations have found that dense cores exhibit subsonic non-thermal velocity dispersions. In contrast, CO observations show that the ambient large-scale cloud is warmer and has supersonic velocity dispersions. Aims. We aim to study the ammonia (NH3) molecular line profiles with exquisite sensitivity towards the coherent cores in L1688 in order to study their kinematical properties in unprecedented detail. Methods. We used NH3 (1,1) and (2,2) data from the first data release (DR1) in the Green Bank Ammonia Survey (GAS). We first smoothed the data to a larger beam of 10 to obtain substantially more extended maps of velocity dispersion and kinetic temperature, compared to the DR1 maps. We then identified the coherent cores in the cloud and analysed the averaged line profiles towards the cores. Results. For the first time, we detected a faint (mean NH3(1,1) peak brightness 0.25K in TMB), supersonic component towards all the coherent cores in L1688. We fitted two components, one broad and one narrow, and derived the kinetic temperature and velocity dispersion of each component. The broad components towards all cores have supersonic linewidths (MS 1). This component biases the estimate of the narrow dense core component's velocity dispersion by 28% and the kinetic temperature by 10%, on average, as compared to the results from single-component fits. Conclusions. Neglecting this ubiquitous presence of a broad component towards all coherent cores causes the typical singlecomponent fit to overestimate the temperature and velocity dispersion. This aects the derived detailed physical structure and stability of the cores estimated from NH3 observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL6
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • ISM: individual objects: L1688
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: molecules
  • Ophiuchus
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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