Volume 575, March 2015
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||05 March 2015|
Modelling ripples in Orion with coupled dust dynamics and radiative transfer
1 Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
2 Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Received: 10 December 2014
Accepted: 18 January 2015
Aims. In light of the recent detection of direct evidence for the formation of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in the Orion nebula, we expand upon previous modelling efforts by numerically simulating the shear-flow driven gas and dust dynamics in locations where the Hii region and the molecular cloud interact. We aim to directly confront the simulation results with the infrared observations.
Methods. To numerically model the onset and full nonlinear development of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability we take the setup proposed to interpret the observations, and adjust it to a full 3D hydrodynamical simulation that includes the dynamics of gas as well as dust. A dust grain distribution with sizes between 5–250 nm is used, exploiting the gas+dust module of the MPI-AMRVAC code, in which the dust species are represented by several pressureless dust fluids. The evolution of the model is followed well into the nonlinear phase. The output of these simulations is then used as input for the SKIRT dust radiative transfer code to obtain infrared images at several stages of the evolution, which can be compared to the observations.
Results. We confirm that a 3D Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is able to develop in the proposed setup, and that the formation of the instability is not inhibited by the addition of dust. Kelvin-Helmholtz billows form at the end of the linear phase, and synthetic observations of the billows show striking similarities to the infrared observations. It is pointed out that the high density dust regions preferentially collect on the flanks of the billows. To get agreement with the observed Kelvin-Helmholtz ripples, the assumed geometry between the background radiation, the billows and the observer is seen to be of critical importance.
Key words: hydrodynamics / radiative transfer / ISM: clouds / dust, extinction / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: structure
© ESO, 2015
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