FRagmentation and Evolution of Dense Cores Judged by ALMA (FREJA). I. Overview: Inner ∼1000 au Structures of Prestellar/Protostellar Cores in Taurus

Kazuki Tokuda, Kakeru Fujishiro, Kengo Tachihara, Tatsuyuki Takashima, Yasuo Fukui, Sarolta Zahorecz, Kazuya Saigo, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Kengo Tomida, Masahiro N. Machida, Shu Ichiro Inutsuka, Philippe André, Akiko Kawamura, Toshikazu Onishi

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We have performed survey-type observations in 1 mm continuum and molecular lines toward dense cores (32 prestellar + 7 protostellar) with an average density of ⪆105 cm-3 in the Taurus molecular clouds using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array-Atacama Compact Array (ALMA-ACA) stand-alone mode with an angular resolution of 6.″5 (∼900 au). The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the innermost part of dense cores with view to understanding the initial condition of star formation. In the protostellar cores, contributions from protostellar disks dominate the observed continuum flux with a range of 35%-90%, except for the very low-luminosity object. For the prestellar cores, we have successfully confirmed continuum emission from dense gas with a density of ⪆3 × 105 cm-3 toward approximately one-third of the targets. Thanks to the lower spatial frequency coverage with the ACA 7 m array, the detection rate is significantly higher than that of the previous surveys, which have zero or one continuum-detected sources among a large number of starless samples using the ALMA Main Array. The statistical counting method tells us that the lifetime of prestellar cores until protostar formation therein approaches the freefall time as the density increases. Among the prestellar cores, at least two targets have possible internal substructures, which are detected in continuum emission with the size scale of ∼1000 au if we consider the molecular line (C18O and N2D+) distributions. These results suggest that small-scale fragmentation/coalescence processes occur in a region smaller than 0.1 pc, which may determine the final core mass associated with individual protostar formation before starting the dynamical collapse of the core with a central density of ∼(0.3-1) × 106 cm-3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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