Sarah Ragan


Characterizing the seeds of star formation in IRDCs with Herschel

Thomas Henning, Oliver Krause, Henrik Beuther, Hendrik Linz, Anika Schmiedeke, Jochen Tackenberg, Martin Hennemann


Infrared-dark clouds (IRDCs) contain a range of the earliest phases of cluster formation, and potentially the rare precursors to massive stars. These cold (< 20 K) objects emit most of their radiation in the far infrared and sub-millimeter regime. As part of the Earliest Phases of Star Formation (EPoS) Herschel guaranteed time key program, we target 45 well-studied IRDCs and ISOSS sources and image them deeply across all PACS and SPIRE wavelengths (70−500 μm). We focus on the distribution of point source throughout IRDC filaments, some only detected with PACS for the first time, and discuss them in context of evolutionary sequence. These are the pre- and proto-stellar cores which seed star formation in IRDCs. High-resolution sub-millimeter follow-up is required to constrain the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the point sources, and we discuss our efforts in this direction with APEX-SABOCA.