Do cloud-cloud collisions trigger high-mass star formation? I. Small cloud collisions.
TAKAHIRA K., TASKER E.J. and HABE A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We performed sub-parsec (∼0.06 pc) scale simulations of two idealized molecular clouds with different masses undergoing a collision. Gas clumps with densities greater than 10–20 g/cm3 (0.3x104/cm3) were identified as pre-stellar cores and tracked throughout the simulation. The colliding system showed a partial gas arc morphology with core formation in the oblique shock front at the collision interface. These characteristics support NANTEN observations of objects suspected to be colliding giant molecular clouds (GMCs). We investigated the effect of turbulence and collision speed on the resulting core population and compared the cumulative mass distribution to cores in observed GMCs. Our results suggest that a faster relative velocity increases the number of cores formed but that cores grow via accretion predominately while in the shock front, leading to a slower shock being more important for core growth. The core masses obey a power-law relation with index γ = -1.6, in good agreement with observations. This suggests that core production through collisions should follow a similar mass distribution as quiescent formation, albeit at a higher mass range. If cores can be supported against collapse during their growth, then the estimated ram pressure from gas infall is of the right order to counter the radiation pressure and form a star of 100 M☉.