EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 445, Number 2, January II 2006
Page(s) 601 - 616
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053439

A&A 445, 601-616 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053439

Probing turbulence with infrared observations in OMC1

M. Gustafsson1, D. Field1, J. L. Lemaire2 and F. P. Pijpers3

1  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
    e-mail: maikeng@phys.au.dk
2  Observatoire de Paris & Université de Cergy-Pontoise, LERMA & UMR 8112 du CNRS, 92195 Meudon, France
3  Space and Atmospheric Physics, Dept. Physics, Imperial College London, England

(Received 16 May 2005 / Accepted 8 September 2005 )

A statistical analysis is presented of the turbulent velocity structure in the Orion Molecular Cloud at scales ranging from 70 AU to $3\times10^4$ AU. Results are based on IR Fabry-Perot interferometric observations of shock and photon-excited H2 in the K-band S(1) v=1-0 line at 2.121 $\mu$m and refer to the dynamical characteristics of warm perturbed gas. Data consist of a spatially resolved image with a measured velocity for each resolution limited region ( $\rm 70~AU\times 70~AU$) in the image. The effect of removal of apparent large scale velocity gradients is discussed and the conclusion drawn that these apparent gradients represent part of the turbulent cascade and should remain within the data. Using our full data set, observations establish that the Larson size-linewidth relation is obeyed to the smallest scales studied here extending the range of validity of this relationship by nearly 2 orders of magnitude. The velocity probability distribution function (PDF) is constructed showing extended exponential wings, providing evidence of intermittency, further supported by the skewness (third moment) and kurtosis (fourth moment) of the velocity distribution. Variance and kurtosis of the PDF of velocity differences are constructed as a function of lag. The variance shows an approximate power law dependence on lag, with exponent significantly lower than the Kolmogorov value, and with deviations below 2000 AU which are attributed to outflows and possibly disk structures associated with low mass star formation within OMC1. The kurtosis shows strong deviation from a Gaussian velocity field, providing evidence of velocity correlations at small lags. Results agree accurately with semi-empirical simulations in Eggers & Wang (1998).

In addition, 170 individual H2 emitting clumps have been analysed with sizes between 500 and 2200 AU. These show considerable diversity with regard to PDFs and variance functions (related to second order structure functions) displaying a variety of shapes of the PDF and different values of the scaling exponent within a restricted spatial region. However, a region associated with an outflow from a deeply embedded O-star shows high values of the scaling exponent of the variance function, representing a strong segregation of high and low exponent clumps. Our analysis constitutes the first characterization of the turbulent velocity field at the scale of star formation and provide a dataset which models of star-forming regions should aim to reproduce.

Key words: ISM: individual objects: OMC1 -- ISM: kinematics and dynamics -- ISM: molecules -- shock waves -- turbulence -- infrared: ISM

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005