Volume 622, February 2019
|Number of page(s)||31|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||18 February 2019|
Histogram of oriented gradients: a technique for the study of molecular cloud formation
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy,
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queen’s Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3AA, UK
3 Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany
4 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena CA, 91109, USA
5 Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9305, USA
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
7 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 42, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
8 Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
9 Interdiszipliäres Zentrum für Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 205, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
10 Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 146 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L3 5RF, UK
11 Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
12 Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
13 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, PO Box O, 1003 Lopezville Road, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
14 Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
15 Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, UK
16 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
17 Laboratoire AIM, Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU/SAp – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
18 Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, 560012 Bangalore, India
19 Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
Accepted: 28 December 2018
We introduce the histogram of oriented gradients (HOG), a tool developed for machine vision that we propose as a new metric for the systematic characterization of spectral line observations of atomic and molecular gas and the study of molecular cloud formation models. In essence, the HOG technique takes as input extended spectral-line observations from two tracers and provides an estimate of their spatial correlation across velocity channels. We characterized HOG using synthetic observations of HI and 13CO (J = 1 → 0) emission from numerical simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence leading to the formation of molecular gas after the collision of two atomic clouds. We found a significant spatial correlation between the two tracers in velocity channels where vHI ≈ v13CO, almost independent of the orientation of the collision with respect to the line of sight. Subsequently, we used HOG to investigate the spatial correlation of the HI, from The HI/OH/recombination line survey of the inner Milky Way (THOR), and the 13CO (J = 1 → 0) emission from the Galactic Ring Survey (GRS), toward the portion of the Galactic plane 33°.75 ≤l ≤ 35°.25 and |b| ≤ 1°.25. We found a significant spatial correlation between the two tracers in extended portions of the studied region. Although some of the regions with high spatial correlation are associated with HI self-absorption (HISA) features, suggesting that it is produced by the cold atomic gas, the correlation is not exclusive to this kind of region. The HOG results derived for the observational data indicate significant differences between individual regions: some show spatial correlation in channels around vHI ≈ v13CO while others present spatial correlations in velocity channels separated by a few kilometers per second. We associate these velocity offsets to the effect of feedback and to the presence of physical conditions that are not included in the atomic-cloud-collision simulations, such as more general magnetic field configurations, shear, and global gas infall.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: atoms / ISM: molecules / ISM: structure / radio lines: ISM / galaxies: ISM
© ESO 2019
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