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Investigating the role of magnetic fields in star formation using molecular line profiles

Yin, Charles, Priestley, Felix D. and Wurster, James 2021. Investigating the role of magnetic fields in star formation using molecular line profiles. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 504 (2) , pp. 2381-2389. 10.1093/mnras/stab1039

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Abstract

Determining the importance of magnetic fields in star-forming environments is hampered by the difficulty of accurately measuring both field strength and gas properties in molecular clouds. We post-process three-dimensional non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic simulations of pre-stellar cores with a time-dependent chemical network, and use radiative transfer modelling to calculate self-consistent molecular line profiles. Varying the initial mass-to-flux ratio from subcritical to supercritical results in significant changes to both the intensity and shape of several observationally important molecular lines. We identify the peak intensity ratio of N2H+ to CS lines, and the CS J = 2–1 blue-to-red peak intensity ratio, as promising diagnostics of the initial mass-to-flux ratio, with N2H+/CS values of >0.6 (<0.2) and CS blue/red values of <3 (>5) indicating subcritical (supercritical) collapse. These criteria suggest that, despite presently being magnetically supercritical, L1498 formed from subcritical initial conditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2021
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 15:30
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/141198

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