The SOFIA Massive (SOMA) Star Formation Survey. IV
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Rubén Fedriani
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We present ∼ 10 − 40 μm SOFIA-FORCAST images of 11 protostars as part of the SOFIA Massive (SOMA) Star Formation Survey, with this morphological classification based on 37 μm imaging. We develop an automated method to define source aperture size based on the gradient of its background-subtracted enclosed flux and apply this to build spectral energy distributions (SEDs). We fit the SEDs with radiative transfer models, based on the Turbulent Core Accretion (TCA) theory, to estimate key protostellar properties. Here we release the sedcreator python package that carries out these methods. The SEDs are generally well-fit by the TCA models, from which we infer initial core masses Mc ranging from 50 − 430 M⊙, clump mass surface densities Σcl ∼ 0.1 − 3 g cm−2 and current protostellar masses m∗ ∼ 2 − 40 M⊙. From an uniform analysis of the 40 sources in the full SOMA survey to date, we find that massive protostars form across a wide range of clump mass surface density environments, placing constraints on theories that predict a minimum threshold Σcl for massive star formation. However, the upper end of the m∗ − Σcl distribution follows trends predicted by models of internal protostellar feedback that find greater star formation efficiency in higher Σcl conditions.

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