Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council Canada, 5071 West Saanich Rd, Victoria, B.C., V9E 2E7, Canada
Wide area sub-millimeter mapping of nearby molecular clouds allows for the study of large scale structures such as the Integral Shaped Filament in the Orion A cloud. Examination of these regions suggests that they are not equilibrium isothermal structures but rather require significant, and radially dependent, non-thermal support such as produced by helical magnetic fields Also observed in the large area maps are dense condensations with masses typical for stars. The mass distribution of these clumps is similar to the stellar initial mass function; however, the clumps appear stable against collapse. The clumps are clustered within the cores of molecular clouds and restricted to those locations where the molecular cloud column density is high (AV > 4). As well, the typical sub-millimeter clump reveals little or no emission from isotopes of CO, likely indicating that the combination of high density and low temperatures within the clumps provides an environment in which these molecules freeze-out onto dust grain surfaces.
(Online publication September 25 2002)