The Enigmatic Core L1451-mm: A First Hydrostatic Core? Or a Hidden VeLLO?
We present the detection of a dust continuum source at 3 mm (CARMA) and 1.3 mm (Submillimeter Array, SMA), and 12CO (2-1) emission (SMA) toward the L1451-mm dense core. These detections suggest a compact object and an outflow where no point source at mid-infrared wavelengths is detected using Spitzer. An upper limit for the dense core bolometric luminosity of 0.05 L &sun; is obtained. By modeling the broadband spectral energy distribution and the continuum interferometric visibilities simultaneously, we confirm that a central source of heating is needed to explain the observations. This modeling also shows that the data can be well fitted by a dense core with a young stellar object (YSO) and a disk, or by a dense core with a central first hydrostatic core (FHSC). Unfortunately, we are not able to decide between these two models, which produce similar fits. We also detect 12CO (2-1) emission with redshifted and blueshifted emission suggesting the presence of a slow and poorly collimated outflow, in opposition to what is usually found toward YSOs but in agreement with prediction from simulations of an FHSC. This presents the best candidate, so far, for an FHSC, an object that has been identified in simulations of collapsing dense cores. Whatever the true nature of the central object in L1451-mm, this core presents an excellent laboratory to study the earliest phases of low-mass star formation.\n\nBased on observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m Telescope, the Submillimeter Array, and CARMA. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain). The Submillimeter Array is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica. Support for CARMA construction was derived from the states of California, Illinois, and Maryland, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the\nUniversity of Chicago, the Associates of the California Institute of Technology, and the National Science Foundation. Ongoing CARMA\ndevelopment and operations are supported by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement and by the CARMA partner universities.