Near-infrared and millimeter-wavelength observations of mol 160: A massive young protostellar core

Grace Wolf-Chase*, Michael Smutko, Reid Sherman, Doyal A. Harper, Michael Medford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We have discovered two compact sources of shocked H2 2.12μm emission coincident with Mol160 (IRAS 23385+6053), a massive star-forming core thought to be a precursor to an ultracompact HII region. The 2.12μm sources lie within 2″ (0.05pc) of a millimeter-wavelength continuum peak where the column density is ≥1024cm-2. We estimate that the ratio of molecular hydrogen luminosity to bolometric luminosity is >0.2%, indicating a high ratio of mechanical to radiant luminosity. CS J = 2→1 and HCO+ J = 1→0 observations with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) indicate that the protostellar molecular core has a peculiar velocity of 2kms-1 with respect to its parent molecular cloud. We also observed 95GHz CH3OH J = 8→7 ClassI maser emission from several locations within the core. Comparison with previous observations of 44GHz CH3OH maser emission shows that the maser sources have a high mean ratio of 95GHz to 44GHz intensity. Our observations strengthen the case that Mol160 (IRAS 23385+6053) is a rapidly accreting massive protostellar system in a very early phase of its evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • ISM: individual objects (Mol 160)
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • stars: formation
  • stars: massive
  • stars: pre-main sequence
  • stars: protostars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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