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16 février 2018 Tout le mois

Philippe Andre (CEA Irfu) - From Filamentary Networks to Protostellar Cores in Giant Molecular Clouds : Toward a Unified Picture for Star Formation in Galaxies

Vendredi 16 février 11:00-12:00

I will review recent progress in our observational understanding of the link between the structure of molecular clouds and the formation of low-to intermediate-mass stars. In particular, I will describe the low-mass star formation scenario favored by Herschel studies of the nearest molecular clouds of the Galaxy which point to the key role of the quasi-universal filamentary structure pervading the cold ISM. The Herschel results support a picture in which molecular filaments and prestellar cores represent two fundamental steps in the star formation process : First, large-scale compression of interstellar material in supersonic MHD flows generates a cobweb of 0.1 pc-wide filaments in the ISM ; second, the densest filaments fragment into prestellar cores (and subsequently protostars) by gravitational instability, while simultaneously growing in mass and complexity through accretion of background cloud material. This filamentary paradigm provides new insight into the origin of the stellar initial mass function and the efficiency of star formation in the dense molecular gas of galaxies. I will end with several open issues and future directions.

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