EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 508, Number 2, December III 2009
Page(s) 725 - 735
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912806
Published online 27 October 2009
A&A 508, 725-735 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912806

Fragmentation of a dynamically condensing radiative layer

K. Iwasaki and T. Tsuribe

Department of Earth and Space Science, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan
    e-mail: [iwasaki; tsuribe]@vega.ess.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp

Received 1 July 2009 / Accepted 14 September 2009

In this paper, the stability of a dynamically condensing radiative gas layer is investigated by linear analysis. Our own time-dependent, self-similar solutions describing a dynamical condensing radiative gas layer are used as an unperturbed state. We consider perturbations that are both perpendicular and parallel to the direction of condensation. The transverse wave number of the perturbation is defined by k. For k = 0, it is found that the condensing gas layer is unstable. However, the growth rate is too low to become nonlinear during dynamical condensation. For k $\ne$ 0, in general, perturbation equations for constant wave number cannot be reduced to an eigenvalue problem due to the unsteady unperturbed state. Therefore, direct numerical integration of the perturbation equations is performed. For comparison, an eigenvalue problem neglecting the time evolution of the unperturbed state is also solved and both results agree well. The gas layer is unstable for all wave numbers, and the growth rate depends a little on wave number. The behaviour of the perturbation is specified by kLcool at the centre, where the cooling length, Lcool, represents the length that a sound wave can travel during the cooling time. For kLcool $\gg$ 1, the perturbation grows isobarically. For kLcool $\ll$ 1, the perturbation grows because each part has a different collapse time without interaction. Since the growth rate is sufficiently high, it is not long before the perturbations become nonlinear during the dynamical condensation. Therefore, according to the linear analysis, the cooling layer is expected to split into fragments with various scales.

Key words: hydrodynamics -- instabilities -- ISM: kinematics and dynamics -- ISM: structure -- ISM: clouds

© ESO 2009