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Are turbulent spheres suitable initial conditions for star-forming clouds?

Rey-Raposo, R., Dobbs, C. and Duarte Cabral, Ana ORCID: 2015. Are turbulent spheres suitable initial conditions for star-forming clouds? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 446 (1) , L46-L50. 10.1093/mnrasl/slu167

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To date, most numerical simulations of molecular clouds, and star formation within them, assume a uniform density sphere or box with an imposed turbulent velocity field. In this work, we select molecular clouds from galactic scale simulations as initial conditions, increase their resolution, and re-simulate them using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics code GADGET2. Our approach provides clouds with morphologies, internal structures and kinematics that constitute more consistent and realistic initial conditions for simulations of star formation. We perform comparisons between molecular clouds derived from a galactic simulation, and spheres of turbulent gas of similar dimensions, mass and velocity dispersion. We focus on properties of the clouds such as their density, velocity structure and star formation rate. We find that the inherited velocity structure of the galactic clouds has a significant impact on the star formation rate and evolution of the cloud. Our results indicate that, although we can follow the time evolution of star formation in any simulated cloud, capturing the entire history is difficult as we ignore any star formation that might have occurred before initialization. Overall, the turbulent spheres do not match the complexity of the galactic clouds.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 17453925
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 3 October 2014
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 20:00

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