Formation of Pillars at the Boundaries between HII Regions and Molecular Clouds

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We investigate numerically the hydrodynamic instability of an ionization front (IF) accelerating into a molecular cloud, with imposed initial perturbations of different amplitudes. When the initial amplitude is small, the imposed perturbation is completely stabilized and does not grow. When the initial perturbation amplitude is large enough, roughly the ratio of the initial amplitude to wavelength is greater than 0.02, portions of the IF temporarily separate from the molecular cloud surface, locally decreasing the ablation pressure. This causes the appearance of a large, warm HI region and triggers nonlinear dynamics of the IF. The local difference of the ablation pressure ... continued below

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Mizuta, A; Kane, J O; Pound, M W; Remington, B A; Ryutov, D D & Takabe, H April 20, 2006.

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We investigate numerically the hydrodynamic instability of an ionization front (IF) accelerating into a molecular cloud, with imposed initial perturbations of different amplitudes. When the initial amplitude is small, the imposed perturbation is completely stabilized and does not grow. When the initial perturbation amplitude is large enough, roughly the ratio of the initial amplitude to wavelength is greater than 0.02, portions of the IF temporarily separate from the molecular cloud surface, locally decreasing the ablation pressure. This causes the appearance of a large, warm HI region and triggers nonlinear dynamics of the IF. The local difference of the ablation pressure and acceleration enhances the appearance and growth of a multimode perturbation. The stabilization usually seen at the IF in the linear regimes does not work due to the mismatch of the modes of the perturbations at the cloud surface and in density in HII region above the cloud surface. Molecular pillars are observed in the late stages of the large amplitude perturbation case. The velocity gradient in the pillars is in reasonably good agreement with that observed in the Eagle Nebula. The initial perturbation is imposed in three different ways: in density, in incident photon number flux, and in the surface shape. All cases show both stabilization for a small initial perturbation and large growth of the second harmonic by increasing amplitude of the initial perturbation above a critical value.

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PDF-file: 23 pages; size: 0.8 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal, vol. 647, no. 2, August 20, 2006, pp. 1151; Journal Volume: 647; Journal Issue: 2

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-221184
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 936699
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898304

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 20, 2006

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:01 p.m.

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Mizuta, A; Kane, J O; Pound, M W; Remington, B A; Ryutov, D D & Takabe, H. Formation of Pillars at the Boundaries between HII Regions and Molecular Clouds, article, April 20, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898304/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.