THE ROLE OF TURBULENCE AND MAGNETIC FIELDS IN SIMULATED FILAMENTARY STRUCTURE Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We use numerical simulations of turbulent cluster-forming regions to study the nature of dense filamentary structures in star formation. Using four hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic simulations chosen to match observations, we identify filaments in the resulting column density maps and analyze their properties. We calculate the radial column density profiles of the filaments every 0.05 Myr and fit the profiles with the modified isothermal and pressure confined isothermal cylinder models, finding reasonable fits for either model. The filaments formed in the simulations have similar radial column density profiles to those observed. Magnetic fields provide additional pressure support to the filaments, making `puffier' filaments less prone to fragmentation than in the pure hydrodynamic case, which continue to condense at a slower rate. In the higher density simulations, the filaments grow faster through the increased importance of gravity. Not all of the filaments identified in the simulations will evolve to form stars: some expand and disperse. Given these different filament evolutionary paths, the trends in bulk filament width as a function of time, magnetic field strength, or density, are weak, and all cases are reasonably consistent with the finding of a constant filament width in different star-forming regions. In the simulations, the mean FWHM lies between 0.06 and 0.26 pc for all times and initial conditions, with most lying between 0.1 to 0.15 pc; the range in FWHMs are, however, larger than seen in typical Herschel analyses. Finally, the filaments display a wealth of substructure similar to the recent discovery of filament bundles in Taurus.

publication date

  • April 1, 2015