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Dynamical cloud formation traced by atomic and molecular gas

Beuther, H., Wang, Y., Soler, J., Linz, H., Henshaw, J., Vazquez-Semadeni, E., Gomez, G., Ragan, S., Henning, Th., Glover, S. C. O., Lee, M. -Y. and Guesten, R. 2020. Dynamical cloud formation traced by atomic and molecular gas. Astronomy and Astrophysics 638 , A44. 10.1051/0004-6361/202037950

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Abstract

Context. Atomic and molecular cloud formation is a dynamical process. However, kinematic signatures of these processes are still observationally poorly constrained. Aims. We identify and characterize the cloud formation signatures in atomic and molecular gas. Methods. Targeting the cloud-scale environment of the prototypical infrared dark cloud G28.3, we employed spectral line imaging observations of the two atomic lines HI and [CI] as well as molecular lines observations in 13CO in the 1–0 and 3–2 transitions. The analysis comprises investigations of the kinematic properties of the different tracers, estimates of the mass flow rates, velocity structure functions, a histogram of oriented gradients (HOG) study, and comparisons to simulations. Results. The central infrared dark cloud (IRDC) is embedded in a more diffuse envelope of cold neutral medium traced by HI self-absorption and molecular gas. The spectral line data as well as the HOG and structure function analysis indicate a possible kinematic decoupling of the HI from the other gas compounds. Spectral analysis and position–velocity diagrams reveal two velocity components that converge at the position of the IRDC. Estimated mass flow rates appear rather constant from the cloud edge toward the center. The velocity structure function analysis is consistent with gas flows being dominated by the formation of hierarchical structures. Conclusions. The observations and analysis are consistent with a picture where the IRDC G28.3 is formed at the center of two converging gas flows. While the approximately constant mass flow rates are consistent with a self-similar, gravitationally driven collapse of the cloud, external compression (e.g., via spiral arm shocks or supernova explosions) cannot be excluded yet. Future investigations should aim at differentiating the origin of such converging gas flows.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 April 2020
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 23:15
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131038

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