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Journal Article

Can turbulent, high-density gas form stars in molecular clouds: a case study in Ophiuchus


Lin,  Yuxin
MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Jiao, S., Wu, J., Ruan, H., Lin, Y., Tsai, C.-W., & Feng, L. (2022). Can turbulent, high-density gas form stars in molecular clouds: a case study in Ophiuchus. Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 22(7): 075016. doi:10.1088/1674-4527/ac6850.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-A517-1
Star formation is governed by the interplay between gravity and turbulence in most of molecular clouds. Recent theoretical works assume that dense gas, whose column density is above a critical value in the column density probability distribution function (N-PDF), where gravity starts to overcome turbulence, becomes star-forming gas and will collapse to form stars. However, these high-density gases will include some very turbulent areas in the clouds. Will these dense but turbulent gases also form stars? We test this scenario in Ophiuchus molecular cloud using N-PDF analysis and find that at least in some regions, the turbulent, dense gas is not forming stars. We identified two isolated high-density structures in Ophiuchus, which are gravitationally unbound and show no sign of star formation. Their high densities may come from turbulence.