Journal Article

Radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of H <span class="smallCaps">ii</span> regions and their associated PDRs in turbulent molecular clouds

S. J. Arthur, W. J. Henney, G. Mellema, F. De Colle and E. Vázquez-Semadeni

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 2, pages 1747-1768
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of H ii regions and their associated PDRs in turbulent molecular clouds

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


Show Summary Details


We present the results of radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the formation and expansion of H ii regions and their surrounding photodissociation regions (PDRs) in turbulent, magnetized, molecular clouds on scales of up to 4 pc. We include the effects of ionizing and non-ionizing ultraviolet radiation and X-rays from population synthesis models of young star clusters. For all our simulations we find that the H ii region expansion reduces the disordered component of the magnetic field, imposing a large-scale order on the field around its border, with the field in the neutral gas tending to lie along the ionization front, while the field in the ionized gas tends to be perpendicular to the front. The highest pressure-compressed neutral and molecular gas is driven towards approximate equipartition between thermal, magnetic and turbulent energy densities, whereas lower pressure neutral/molecular gas bifurcates into, on the one hand, quiescent, magnetically dominated regions and, on the other hand, turbulent, demagnetized regions. The ionized gas shows approximate equipartition between thermal and turbulent energy densities, but with magnetic energy densities that are 1–3 orders of magnitude lower. A high velocity dispersion (∼8 km s−1) is maintained in the ionized gas throughout our simulations, despite the mean expansion velocity being significantly lower. The magnetic field does not significantly brake the large-scale H ii region expansion on the length and time-scales accessible to our simulations, but it does tend to suppress the smallest scale fragmentation and radiation-driven implosion of neutral/molecular gas that forms globules and pillars at the edge of the H ii region. However, the relative luminosity of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation has a much larger influence than the presence or absence of the magnetic field. When the star cluster radiation field is relatively soft (as in the case of a lower mass cluster, containing an earliest spectral type of B0.5), then fragmentation is less vigorous and a thick, relatively smooth PDR forms.

Keywords: MHD; stars: formation; H ii regions; ISM: kinematics and dynamics; photodissociation region (PDR)

Journal Article.  14278 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.