Blast: The mass function, lifetimes, and properties of intermediate mass cores from a 50 deg2 Submillimeter galactic survey in vela (ℓ ≈ 265°)

Calvin B. Netterfield, Peter A.R. Ade, James J. Bock, Edward L. Chapin, Mark J. Devlin, Matthew Griffin, Joshua O. Gundersen, Mark Halpern, Peter C. Hargrave, David H. Hughes, Jeff Klein, Gaelen Marsden, Peter G. Martin, Phillip Mauskopf, Luca Olmi, Enzo Pascale, Guillaume Patanchon, Marie Rex, Arabindo Roy, Douglas ScottChristopher Semisch, Nicholas Thomas, Matthew D.P. Truch, Carole Tucker, Gregory S. Tucker, Marco P. Viero, Donald V. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We present first results from an unbiased 50deg2 submillimeter Galactic survey at 250, 350, and 500μm from the 2006 flight of the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope. The map has resolution ranging from 36″ to 60″ in the three submillimeter bands spanning the thermal emission peak of cold starless cores. We determine the temperature, luminosity, and mass of more than 1000 compact sources in a range of evolutionary stages and an unbiased statistical characterization of the population. From comparison with C18O data, we find the dust opacity per gas mass, κr= 0.16cm2 g-1 at 250μm, for cold clumps. We find that 2% of the mass of the molecular gas over this diverse region is in cores colder than 14K, and that the mass function for these cold cores is consistent with a power law with index α = -3.22 0.14 over the mass range 14 M < M < 80 M. Additionally, we infer a mass-dependent cold core lifetime of tc (M) = 4 × 10 6(M/20 M)-0.9yr - longer than what has been found in previous surveys of either low or high-mass cores, and significantly longer than free fall or likely turbulent decay times. This implies some form of non-thermal support for cold cores during this early stage of star formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1824-1835
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • ISM: clouds
  • Stars: formation
  • Submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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