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Massive clumps in W43-main: Structure formation in an extensively shocked molecular cloud

Yuxin LinFriedrich WyrowskiHauyu Baobab Liu ...+10 Karl M. Menten
Jan 2024
W43-main is a massive molecular complex located at the interaction of the Scutum arm and the Galactic bar undergoing starburst activities. We aim to investigate the gas dynamics, in particular, the prevailing shock signatures from the cloud to clump scale and assess the impact of shocks on the formation of dense gas and early-stage cores. We have carried out NOEMA and IRAM-30m observations at 3 mm with an angular resolution of $\sim$0.1 pc towards five massive clumps in W43 main. We use CH$_{3}$CCH and H$_{2}$CS lines to trace the extended gas temperature and CH$_{3}$OH lines to probe the volume density of the dense gas ($\gtrsim$10$^{5}$ cm$^{-3}$). The emission of SiO (2-1) is extensive across the region ($\sim$4 pc) and is mostly contained within a low-velocity regime, hinting at a large-scale origin of the shocks. The position-velocity maps of multiple tracers show systematic spatio-kinematic offsets supporting the cloud-cloud collision/merging scenario. We identify an additional extended velocity component in CCH emission, which coincides with one of the velocity components of the larger scale $^{13}$CO (2-1) emission, likely representing an outer, less dense gas layer in the cloud merging process. We find that the V-shaped, asymmetric SiO wings are tightly correlated with localised gas density enhancements, which is direct evidence of dense gas formation and accumulation in shocks. We resolve two categories of NH$_{2}$D cores: ones exhibiting only subsonic to transonic velocity dispersion, and the others with an additional supersonic velocity dispersion. The centroid velocities of the latter cores are correlated with the shock front seen by SiO. The kinematics of the $\sim$0.1 pc NH$_{2}$D cores are heavily imprinted by shock activities, and may represent a population of early-stage cores forming around the shock interface.
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