Spatially resolving substructures within the massive envelope around an intermediate-mass protostar: MMS 6/OMC-3

Satoko Takahashi, Kazuya Saigo, Paul T.P. Ho, Kengo Tomida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


With the Submillimeter Array, the brightest (sub)millimeter continuum source in the Orion Molecular Cloud-2/3 region, MMS6, has been observed in the 850 μm continuum emission with approximately 10 times better angular resolution than previous studies (03, 120 AU at Orion). The deconvolved size, the mass, and the column density of MMS6-main are estimated to be 032 × 029 (132 AU × 120 AU), 0.29 M , and 2.1 × 1025 cm -2, respectively. The estimated extremely high mean number density, 1.5 × 1010 cm-3, suggests that MMS6-main is likely optically thick at 850 μm. We compare our observational data with three theoretical core models: prestellar core, protostellar core + disk-like structure, and first adiabatic core. These comparisons clearly show that the observational data cannot be modeled as a simple prestellar core with a gas temperature of 20 K. A self-luminous source is necessary to explain the observed flux density in the (sub)millimeter wavelengths. Our recent detection of a very compact and energetic outflow in the CO (3-2) and HCN (4-3) lines supports the presence of a protostar. We suggest that MMS6 is one of the first cases of an intermediate-mass protostellar core at an extremely young stage. In addition to the MMS6-main peak, we have also spatially resolved a number of spiky structures and sub-clumps, distributed over the central 1000 AU. The masses of these sub-clumps are estimated to be 0.066-0.073 M , which are on the order of brown dwarf masses. Higher angular resolution and higher sensitivity observations with ALMA and EVLA will reveal the origin and nature of these structures such as whether they are originated from fragmentations, spiral arms, or inhomogeneity within the disk-like structures/envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 10
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: clouds
  • evolution
  • stars: formation
  • stars: individual (OMC3-MMS 6)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatially resolving substructures within the massive envelope around an intermediate-mass protostar: MMS 6/OMC-3'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this