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molecular clouds

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Probing the Ionization Rate of Molecular Hydrogen Near the Galactic Center

In this article, the authors measure the cosmic ray ionization rate within a few parsecs of the galactic center. They find that the cosmic ray ionization rate is an order of magnitude larger than the galactic standard and also that the molecular gas near the galactic center is much warmer than the typical galactic molecular cloud.

Astrophysical Classics: Larson’s “Laws”

This paper presents three famous relations very important for understanding the inner workings of molecular clouds and star formation processes.

Do we really need a ring?

Understanding the structure of our Milky Way is as difficult as trying to see the forest from the trees. Among the many uncertainties, we don’t know whether the molecular ring is really due to a ring structure or it is simply produced by the spiral arms.

Observing the inner workings of star formation

The common picture of star formation includes the gravitational collapse of cores within molecular clouds, with mass accreting either directly or via a disk. An important aspect of the model is that some component must lower the angular momentum of the accreting material. By observing infalling envelopes, especially at different stages of star formation, the mechanism for mass accretion can be studied.

A Simple Explanation for the Slope of the Initial Mass Function

In this paper, the author proposes that the departure from this simple scaling with mass arises because of a simple fact: the natal molecular cloud must first fragment into clumps, which must in turn fragment into stars.

Star Formation in Giant Molecular Clouds

Stars form in dense clumps within giant molecular clouds. The authors of this paper find a strong relationship between the gravitational growth of these clumps, and the rate of formation of stars within the clumps.

Why are most molecular clouds not gravitationally bound?

In this paper, Dobbs, Burkert & Pringle suggest that most molecular clouds are not gravitationally bound, as is often assumed. They present simulations in which stellar feedback and collisions between clouds play a prominent role.

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