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Paper: A Multi-Wavelength Study of the W3 Giant Molecular Cloud
Volume: 424, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Hellenic Astronomical Society
Page: 165
Authors: Polychroni, D.; Moore, T. J. T.; Allsopp, J.
Abstract: We present here new observations of the W3 Giant Molecular Cloud taken with HARP on the JCMT and the Spitzer Space Telescope. We use these observations in conjunction with existing data on the cloud to study the star forming process in two different star forming modes (triggered and quiescent) co-existing in the W3 GMC. Using the HARP data we construct, for the first time at such resolution and scale, an excitation temperature map of the entire W3 GMC which we use to derive the fraction of mass in dense star-forming clumps, i.e. the Clump Formation Efficiency (CFE). We find the CFE to be ∼ 20% in the triggered regions of the cloud, compared to ∼ 1–2% in the quiescent regions. The Spitzer data provide us with IR counterparts to the submillimetre SCUBA cores identified in the cloud. Measuring the fraction of cores containing IR sources across the cloud we find no evidence of increase in this fraction and hence the Star Formation Efficiency (SFE) in the triggered regions of the cloud, nor any indication for different proto-stellar luminosity functions between the triggered and quiescent regions. We conclude, therefore, that while triggering increases the fraction of cloud gas that goes into dense, star forming structures formed in the affected regions, the physics of the star forming process is not affected once a dense core is formed.
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