The Herschel view of the on-going star formation in the Vela-C molecular cloud
T. Giannini, D. Lorenzetti, E. Schisano, S. Molinari, S. Pezzuto, A. Di Giorgio, M. Pestalozzi and the HOBYS team
The purpose of the Herschel guaranteed time key program "HOBYS" is to study high-mass star-forming regions in giant molecular clouds across the Milky Way. As part of it, here I present the PACS and SPIRE maps of the Vela-C cloud, one of the nearest sites of intermediate-mass star formation in the Galactic plane. Photometry at 5-sigma level of compact sources in five bands (70/160/250/350/500 microns) has been extracted and used to build spectral energy distributions (SEDs). A grey body fit approach has been adopted to derive the key physical properties (mass, temperature, bolometric luminosity) of the sources from their SEDs. The presence of a 70 micron detection, as well as an angular association with medium-infrared sources, has been adopted as a criterium to identify the presence of an internal source of luminosity, i.e. a protostar. The remaining starless cores have been classified in bound (pre-stellar) or unbound, based on the Bonnor-Ebert criterium. The core mass function of the pre-stellar objects is presented, and the dislocation of different mass regimes of star formation across Vela-C is also discussed. Finally, an evolutionary timeline of the cores in this region is delineated using the luminosity versus mass relation.