Extremely Dense Cores Associated with Chandra Sources in Ophiuchus A: Forming Brown Dwarfs Unveiled?

Ryohei Kawabe, Chihomi Hara, Fumitaka Nakamura, Kazuya Saigo, Takeshi Kamazaki, Yoshito Shimajiri, Kengo Tomida, Shigehisa Takakuwa, Yohko Tsuboi, Masahiro N. Machida, James Di Francesco, Rachel Friesen, Naomi Hirano, Yumiko Oasa, Motohide Tamura, Yoichi Tamura, Takashi Tsukagoshi, David Wilner

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13 Citations (Scopus)


On the basis of various data such as ALMA, JVLA, Chandra, Herschel, and Spitzer, we confirmed that two protostellar candidates in Oph A are bona fide protostars or proto-brown dwarfs (proto-BDs) in extremely early evolutionary stages. Both objects are barely visible across infrared (IR; i.e., near-IR to far-IR) bands. The physical nature of the cores is very similar to that expected in first hydrostatic cores (FHSCs), objects theoretically predicted in the evolutionary phase prior to stellar core formation with gas densities of ∼1011-12 cm-3. This suggests that the evolutionary stage is close to the FHSC formation phase. The two objects are associated with faint X-ray sources, suggesting that they are in very early phase of stellar core formation with magnetic activity. In addition, we found the CO outflow components around both sources, which may originate from the young outflows driven by these sources. The masses of these objects are calculated to be ∼0.01-0.03 M o from the dust continuum emission. These physical properties are consistent with that expected from the numerical model of forming brown dwarfs. These facts (the X-ray detection, CO outflow association, and FHSC-like spectral energy distributions) strongly indicate that the two objects are proto-BDs or will be in the very early phase of protostars, which will evolve to more massive protostars if they gain enough mass from their surroundings. The ages of these two objects are likely to be within ∼103 years after the protostellar core (or second core) formation, taking into account the outflow dynamical times (≲500 years).

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 20


  • ISM: individual objects (Oph A)
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • X-rays: stars
  • brown dwarfs
  • stars: formation
  • submillimeter: stars


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