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Paper: Structure of Molecular Cloud Cores and the Initial Conditions for Star Formation (Invited Review)
Volume: 287, Galactic Star Formation Across the Stellar Mass Spectrum
Page: 3
Authors: Mardones, D.
Abstract: The physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores have been widely probed mainly through mm-wavelength molecular line observations. Combined with the study of embedded protostars, detailed theories of low mass star formation emerged, explaining most of the observed phenomena. In recent years, however, new observations are probing deeper into the structure of molecular clouds and uncovering inconsistencies in the theories. I review some of the recent observations that have had an impact in our understanding of the star formation process. In particular, I discuss recent findings about the accretion kinematics onto a protostar (or lack of it); the density structure of dense cores probed through continuum studies; and molecule depletion at high densities. Implications of these discoveries on the initial conditions of low and high mass star formation and on theoretical models are discussed.
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