Journal Article

Temporal evolution of MHD shocks in the interstellar medium

J.-P. Chièze, G. Pineau des Forêts and D. R. Flower

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 295, issue 3, pages 672-682
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Temporal evolution of MHD shocks in the interstellar medium

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We undertake calculations of the time-dependent structure of shock waves propagating in dark and diffuse interstellar clouds. The results of the time-dependent model are compared with those obtained by means of an independent steady-state code and found to agree well at sufficiently late times. Discontinuities in the flow of the neutral fluid are handled by introducing a pseudo-viscosity. Special procedures are adopted to correct for the associated widening of the discontinuity, in order not to distort the role of inelastic collision processes. We find that, in dark clouds, C shocks will tend to predominate, but are unlikely to have attained steady state in the cloud lifetime. On the other hand, in diffuse clouds, steady state may be reached but the discontinuity in the flow of the neutral fluid remains. We find no evidence for the existence of C⋆ shocks, in which the neutral fluid undergoes a continuous transition from supersonic to subsonic flow (in the reference frame of the shock wave). Attention is drawn to the possible importance of these results for the interpretation of H2 rovibrational line intensities.

Keywords: MHD; shock waves; ISM: clouds

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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