Journal Article

Local star formation triggered by supernova shocks in magnetized diffuse neutral clouds

M. R. M. Leão, E. M. De Gouveia Dal Pino, D. Falceta-Gonçalves, C. Melioli and F. G. Geraissate

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 1, pages 157-173
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Local star formation triggered by supernova shocks in magnetized diffuse neutral clouds

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In this work, considering the impact of a supernova remnant (SNR) with a neutral magnetized cloud we derived analytically a set of conditions that are favourable for driving gravitational instability in the cloud and thus star formation. Using these conditions, we have built diagrams of the SNR radius, RSNR, versus the initial cloud density, nc, that constrain a domain in the parameter space where star formation is allowed. This work is an extension to previous study performed without considering magnetic fields (Melioli et al. 2006, hereafter Paper I). The diagrams are also tested with fully three-dimensional MHD radiative cooling simulations involving a SNR and a self-gravitating cloud and we find that the numerical analysis is consistent with the results predicted by the diagrams. While the inclusion of a homogeneous magnetic field approximately perpendicular to the impact velocity of the SNR with an intensity ∼1 μG within the cloud results only a small shrinking of the star formation zone in the diagram relative to that without magnetic field, a larger magnetic field (∼10 μG) causes a significant shrinking, as expected. Though derived from simple analytical considerations these diagrams provide a useful tool for identifying sites where star formation could be triggered by the impact of a supernova blast wave. Applications of them to a few regions of our own Galaxy (e.g. the large CO shell in the direction of Cassiopeia, and the Edge Cloud 2 in the direction of the Scorpious constellation) have revealed that star formation in those sites could have been triggered by shock waves from SNRs for specific values of the initial neutral cloud density and the SNR radius. Finally, we have evaluated the effective star formation efficiency for this sort of interaction and found that it is generally smaller than the observed values in our own Galaxy (SFE ∼ 0.01–0.3). This result is consistent with previous work in the literature and also suggests that the mechanism presently investigated, though very powerful to drive structure formation, supersonic turbulence and eventually, local star formation, does not seem to be sufficient to drive global star formation in normal star-forming galaxies, not even when the magnetic field in the neutral clouds is neglected.

Keywords: stars: formation; ISM: clouds; supernova remnants

Journal Article.  12667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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