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Cooling behind mildly supersonic shocks in molecular clouds

Whitworth, Anthony Peter and Clarke, C. J. 1997. Cooling behind mildly supersonic shocks in molecular clouds. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 291 (3) , pp. 578-584. 10.1093/mnras/291.3.578

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Abstract

Collisions between stable, thermally supported gas clumps produce shock-compressed layers. However, these layers then undergo gravitational fragmentation only if the gas cools — on a dynamical time-scale or faster — to below its pre-shock temperature. Here we present an approximate analytic treatment of post-shock cooling which demonstrates that, under the conditions prevailing in molecular clouds, where the typical collision speeds are ~ 1 km s−1, cooling by dust is likely to be the dominant cooling mechanism, and is sufficiently fast to satisfy this requirement. Cooling by CO appears to be of secondary importance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:07
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73095

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