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

Poster 1S056

Molecular Tracers of Turbulent Shocks in GMCs

Pon, Andy (University of Leeds)
Johnstone, Doug (JAC)
Kaufman, Michael (San Jose State University)
Tan, Jonathan (University of Florida)
Caselli, Paola (University of Leeds)

Molecular clouds exhibit large linewidths, which are usually interpreted as being due to supersonic turbulence. This turbulence plays a key role in many theories of star formation, as it is believed to help support and fragment molecular clouds. Current numerical MHD simulations show that the turbulent energy of a molecular cloud dissipates on the order of a crossing time, but do not explicitly follow how this energy is released. We have run models of C-type shocks, based on Kaufman & Neufeld (1996), propagating into gas with densities near 1000 cm^-3 at velocities of a few km/s, appropriate for the ambient conditions inside of a molecular cloud, to determine which species and transitions dominate the cooling and radiative energy release associated with the dissipation of turbulent energy in shocks within molecular clouds. Combining these shock models and estimates for the rate of turbulent energy dissipation (Basu & Murali 2001), we produce synthetic CO spectra and predict those line emissions that will be observable with current and upcoming observational facilities such as Herschel, SOFIA, ALMA, and CCAT. We compare our synthetic shock spectra to the photodissociation region (PDR) models of Kaufman et al. (1999) and show that mid-J CO lines (e.g., CO J = 7 to 6) from molecular clouds illuminated by standard interstellar radiation fields are dominated by emission from shocked gas. We also present Herschel observations of these shock tracing lines. References: Basu, S. & Murali, C. 2001, ApJ, 551, 743 Kaufman, M. J. & Neufeld, D. A. 1996, ApJ, 456, 250 Kaufman, M. J., Wolfire, M. G., Hollenbach, D. J., & Luhman, M. L. 1999, ApJ, 527, 795

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