ALMA Survey of Orion Planck Galactic Cold Clumps (ALMASOP): Density Structure of Centrally Concentrated Prestellar Cores from Multiscale Observations

Dipen Sahu*, Sheng Yuan Liu, Doug Johnstone, Tie Liu, Neal J. Evans, Naomi Hirano, Ken’ichi Tatematsu, James Di Francesco, Chin Fei Lee, Kee Tae Kim, Somnath Dutta, Shih Ying Hsu, Shanghuo Li, Qiu Yi Luo, Patricio Sanhueza, Hsien Shang, Alessio Traficante, Mika Juvela, Chang Won Lee, David J. EdenPaul F. Goldsmith, Leonardo Bronfman, Woojin Kwon, Jeong Eun Lee, Yi Jehng Kuan, Isabelle Ristorcelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Starless cores represent the initial stage of evolution toward (proto)star formation, and a subset of them, known as prestellar cores, with high density (∼ 106 cm−3 or higher) and being centrally concentrated are expected to be embryos of (proto)stars. Determining the density profile of prestellar cores therefore provides an important opportunity to gauge the initial conditions of star formation. In this work, we perform rigorous modeling to estimate the density profiles of three nearly spherical prestellar cores among a sample of five highly dense cores detected by our recent observations. We employed multiscale observational data of the (sub)millimeter dust continuum emission, including those obtained by SCUBA-2 on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope with a resolution of ∼ 5600 au and by multiple Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations with a resolution as high as ∼ 480 au. We are able to consistently reproduce the observed multiscale dust continuum images of the cores with a simple prescribed density profile, which bears an inner region of flat density and an r −2 profile toward the outer region. By utilizing the peak density and the size of the inner flat region as a proxy for the dynamical stage of the cores, we find that the three modeled cores are most likely unstable and prone to collapse. The sizes of the inner flat regions, as compact as ∼ 500 au, signify them as being the highly evolved prestellar cores rarely found to date.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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