Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 85–98 | Cite as

Star formation induced by supersonic turbulence in interstellar molecular cloud

  • Yutaka Sabano
  • Makoto Tosa


We studied fragmentation process of the interstellar molecular cloud which is predominated by supersonic turbulence with special regard to collisions of turbulent gas elements and formation of a shock-compressed layer by receding shock waves. The propagation of the shock waves and the evolution of the compressed layer are followed by one-dimensional gas dynamical simulation until self-gravity becomes significant, taking account of the effects of thermal properties of the molecular gas and magnetic fields. It is shown that the efficient cooling by CO molecules and its sensitive dependence on gas density make the shock-compressed layer so cold and dense that the layer becomes gravitationally unstable and breaks into fragments even if the gas elements are gravitationally stable prior to the collision. The mass of the unstable fragment is estimated to be about two solar masses or less, irrespective of the presence of the magnetic field. The stars formed by collisions of supersonic turbulent gas elements accelerate the surrounding gas in T Tauri stage and replenish the turbulent energy to maintain the mechanical equilibrium of the molecular cloud.


Shock Wave Star Formation Fragmentation Process Turbulent Energy Molecular Cloud 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bash, F., Hausman, M., and Papaloizou, J.: 1981,Astrophys. J. 245, 92.Google Scholar
  2. Boris, J. P. and Book, D. L.: 1976, in B. Alder, S. Fernbach, and M. Rotenberg (eds.),Methods in Computational Physics, Academic Press, New York, p. 85.Google Scholar
  3. Chaisson, E. J. and Vrba, F. J.: 1978, in T. Gehrels (eds.),Protostars and Planets, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 189.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, M. and Kuhi, L. V.: 1979,Astrophys. J. Suppl. 41, 743.Google Scholar
  5. Fleck, R. C., Jr.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 242, 1019.Google Scholar
  6. Gilden, D. L.: 1984,Astrophys. J. 279, 335.Google Scholar
  7. Glassgold, A. E. and Langer, W. D.: 1973,Astrophys. J. 179, L147.Google Scholar
  8. Iglesias, E. R. and Silk, J.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 226, 851.Google Scholar
  9. Landau, L. D. and Lifshitz, E. M.: 1959,Fluid Mechanics, Pergamon Press, London, p. 329.Google Scholar
  10. Larson, R. B.: 1981,Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 194, 809.Google Scholar
  11. Ledoux, P.: 1951,Ann. Astrophys. 14, 438.Google Scholar
  12. Morton, D. C.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 194, L35.Google Scholar
  13. Myers, P. C.: 1983,Astrophys. J. 270, 105.Google Scholar
  14. Nakano, T.: 1983,Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan 35, 209.Google Scholar
  15. Nakano, T.: 1984,Fundamentals Cosmic Physics 9, 139.Google Scholar
  16. Norman, C. and Silk, J.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 238, 158.Google Scholar
  17. Oppenheimer, M. and Dalgarno, A.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 200, 419.Google Scholar
  18. Sabano, Y. and Tosa, M.: 1983, in S. Aoki and Y. Yoshii (eds.),Theoretical Aspects on Structure, Activity, and Evolution of Galaxies, Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo, p. 67.Google Scholar
  19. Sabano, Y. and Tosa, M.: 1984, in S. Aoki and Y. Yoshii (eds.),Theoretical Aspects on Structure, Activity, and Evolution of Galaxies II, Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo, p. 45.Google Scholar
  20. Smith, J.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 238, 842.Google Scholar
  21. Spitzer, L.: 1978,Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Stone, M. E.: 1970,Astrophys. J. 159, 293.Google Scholar
  23. Troland, T. H. and Heiles, C.: 1982,Astrophys. J. 252, 179.Google Scholar
  24. Watson, W. D.: 1972,Astrophys. J. 176, 203.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yutaka Sabano
    • 1
  • Makoto Tosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomical InstituteTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

Personalised recommendations