Inferring the Structure of the Pre-Protostellar Core L1498


We present a study of the pre-protostellar core (PPC) L1498. A series of self-consistent, three-dimensional continuum radiative transfer models are constructed. The outputs of these models are convolved with appropriate telescope beam responses, including the effect of beam chopping to simulate SCUBA observations. The simulated observations are compared with existing observational data. An automated search is conducted in the multi-dimensional parameter space to identify the best-fit model. Grids of models are constructed in the vicinity of the best fit in order to understand the sensitivity/uncertainty of the results. We find that the source is well fit by a prolate spheroid of cutoff (and thus approximately outer) radius rcut = 0.073 ± 0.005 pc, axis ratio q = 2.0 ± 0.2, a central luminosity L* < 10-3 Lsun, and an optical depth in the visible of τv = 20 ± 5. We find that the PPC is illuminated by two external radiation fields: a uniform ISRF of strength sISRF= 0.5 ± 0.25 and a local plane-parallel radiation field sPPRF = 1.0 ± 0.5. Both of these radiation fields are locally attenuated, with τISRF = 1.0 ± 0.25, and τPPRF = 1.25 ± 0.75, consistent with the fact that L1498 is embedded in a larger cloud. Most interestingly, the density fall-off at the outer edge is extremely steep, having a power law of m > 10. This is effectively a “sharp edge” to the PPC, and together with the constant density interior, is interpreted as potential signs of a pressure-confined core.

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Doty, S. , Doty, S. and Perkett, M. (2014) Inferring the Structure of the Pre-Protostellar Core L1498. International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4, 519-529. doi: 10.4236/ijaa.2014.43048.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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