University of Hertfordshire

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A search for hypercompact HII regions in the Galactic Plane

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2681–2696
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Journal publication date11 Jan 2019
Early online date10 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019


We have carried out the largest and most unbiased search for hypercompact (HC) HII regions. Our method combines four interferometric radio continuum surveys (THOR, CORNISH, MAGPIS and White2005) with far-infrared and sub-mm Galactic Plane surveys (Hi$-$GAL and ATLASGAL) to identify embedded HII regions with positive spectral indices. Of a total sample of 534 radio sources with positive spectral indices, we have identified 120 positive spectra HII regions embedded within molecular cloud clumps. None of these HII regions fulfills the canonical definition of an HCHII region at 5 GHz. We suggest that HCHII regions have a hierarchical structure of ionized gas that results in an extended morphology at 5 GHz. Examining known ultracompact (UC) HII region surveys, we find that roughly half of those detected have positive spectral indices. These rising spectra HII regions are statistically more luminous and possess higher Lyman continuum fluxes than HII regions with flat or negative indices (i.e., not-rising). We see no differences in clump mass, linear diameter or luminosity-to-mass ratio between rising spectrum and not-rising spectrum HII regions.


22 pages, 8 figures, 6 tables, accepted by MNRAS


ID: 15530863