Thursday, June 20, 2013

1306.4317 (S. Walch et al.)

Clumps and triggered star formation in ionised molecular clouds    [PDF]

S. Walch, A. P. Whitworth, T. G. Bisbas, R. Wunsch, D. A. Hubber
Infrared shells and bubbles are ubiquitous in the Galaxy and can generally be associated with HII regions formed around young, massive stars. In this paper, we use high-resolution 3D SPH simulations to explore the effect of a single O7 star emitting photons at 10^49 1/s and located at the centre of a molecular cloud with mass 10^4 M_sun and radius 6.4 pc; the internal structure of the cloud is characterised by its fractal dimension, D (with 2.0 <= D <= 2.8), and the variance of its (log-normal) density distribution, sigma_0^2 (with 0.36 <= sigma_0^2 <= 1.42). Our study focuses on the morphology of the swept-up cold gas and the distribution and statistics of the resulting star formation. If the fractal dimension is low, the border of the HII region is dominated by extended shell-like structures, and these break up into a small number of massive high-density clumps which then spawn star clusters; star formation occurs relatively quickly, and delivers somewhat higher stellar masses. Conversely, if the fractal dimension is high, the border of the HII region is dominated by a large number of pillars and cometary globules, which contain compact dense clumps and tend to spawn single stars or individual multiple systems; star formation occurs later, the stellar masses are somewhat lower, and the stars are more widely distributed.
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