Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 1S054


Inoue, Tsuyoshi (Aoyama-gakuin Univ.)

Using three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, including the effects of radiative cool- ing/heating, chemical reactions, self-gravity and thermal conduction, we investigate the formation of molecular clouds in the multi-phase interstellar medium. We consider the formation of molecular clouds due to accretion of HI clouds as suggested by recent observations. Our simulations show that the initial HI medium is piled up behind the shock waves induced by accretion flows. Since the accreting medium is highly inhomogeneous as a consequence of thermal instability, a newly formed molecular cloud becomes very turbulent owing to the development of the Richtmyer–Meshkov instability. The kinetic energy of the turbulence dominates the thermal, magnetic, and gravitational energies. However, the kinetic energy measured using CO-fraction-weighted density is comparable to the other energies, once the CO molecules are sufficiently formed as a result of UV shielding. This suggests that the true kinetic energy of turbulence in molecular clouds as a whole can be much larger than the kinetic energy of turbulence estimated by using line widths of molecular emission. We find that dense clumps in the molecular cloud show the following evolution: the typical plasma beta of the clumps is roughly constant; the size–velocity dispersion relation follows Larsonfs law, irrespective of the density; and the clumps evolve into magnetically supercritical cores by clump-clump collisions. These statistical properties would represent the initial conditions of star formation.

Click here to view poster PDF