Formation of collapsing cores in subcritical magnetic clouds: three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations with ambipolar diffusion.
KUDOH T. and BASU S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We employ three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations including ambipolar diffusion to study the gravitationally driven fragmentation of subcritical molecular clouds, in which the gravitational fragmentation is stabilized as long as magnetic flux-freezing applies. The simulations show that the cores in an initially subcritical cloud generally develop gradually over an ambipolar diffusion time, which is about a few x107yr in a typical molecular cloud. On the other hand, the formation of collapsing cores in subcritical clouds is accelerated by supersonic nonlinear flows. Our parameter study demonstrates that core formation occurs faster as the strength of the initial flow speed in the cloud increases. We found that the core formation time is roughly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the enhanced density created by the supersonic nonlinear flows. The density dependence is similar to that derived in quasistatically contracting magnetically supported clouds, although the core formation conditions are created by the nonlinear flows in our simulations. We have also found that the accelerated formation time is not strongly dependent on the initial strength of the magnetic field if the cloud is highly subcritical. Our simulation shows that the core formation time in our model subcritical clouds is several x106 yr due to the presence of large-scale supersonic flows (∼3 times sound speed). Once a collapsing core forms, the density, velocity, and magnetic field structure of the core do not strongly depend on the initial strength of the velocity fluctuation. The infall velocities of the cores are subsonic and the magnetic field lines show weak hourglass shapes.