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Session 121 - Molecular Clouds/Star Formation.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10

[121.03] Barometrically Challenged Molecular Clouds

M. Heyer, R. Snell (FCRAO/UMass), J. Carpenter (OVRO/Cal Tech)

Over 8400 molecular regions have been identified within the FCRAO CO Survey of the Outer Galaxy as closed surfaces within the l-b-VLSR data cube. Assuming kinematic distances and a constant conversion factor between CO luminosity and molecular hydrogen mass, we find that molecular regions with mass less than 10^3 M_ødot are not in gravitational equilibrium. The required external pressure (P/k) to bound these objects is 2\times10^4 cm^-3-K. The measured frequency of thermal pressure fluctuations within the atomic medium with this amplitude or greater is consistent with the surface density of molecular material relative to HI in the outer Galaxy. While globally, these clouds are not self gravitational, localized regions within the clouds have evolved to form embedded clusters of newborn stars.

Program listing for Saturday