Two-stage fragmentation for cluster formation: analytical model and observational considerations.
BAILEY N.D. and BASU S.
Abstract (from CDS):
Linear analysis of the formation of protostellar cores in planar magnetic interstellar clouds shows that molecular clouds exhibit a preferred length scale for collapse that depends on the mass-to-flux ratio and neutral-ion collision time within the cloud. We extend this linear analysis to the context of clustered star formation. By combining the results of the linear analysis with a realistic ionization profile for the cloud, we find that a molecular cloud may evolve through two fragmentation events in the evolution toward the formation of stars. Our model suggests that the initial fragmentation into clumps occurs for a transcritical cloud on parsec scales while the second fragmentation can occur for transcritical and supercritical cores on subparsec scales. Comparison of our results with several star-forming regions (Perseus, Taurus, Pipe Nebula) shows support for a two-stage fragmentation model.