Volume 641, September 2020
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||22 September 2020|
Statistical model for filamentary structures of molecular clouds
The modified multiplicative random cascade model and its multifractal nature
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG,
2 Laboratoire de Physique de l’Ecole normale supérieure, ENS, Université PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université Paris- Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
3 CompuMAINE Laboratory, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
Accepted: 30 June 2020
We propose a new statistical model that can reproduce the hierarchical nature of the ubiquitous filamentary structures of molecular clouds. This model is based on the multiplicative random cascade, which is designed to replicate the multifractal nature of intermittency in developed turbulence. We present a modified version of the multiplicative process where the spatial fluctuations as a function of scales are produced with the wavelet transforms of a fractional Brownian motion realisation. This simple approach produces naturally a log-normal distribution function and hierarchical coherent structures. Despite the highly contrasted aspect of these coherent structures against a smoother background, their Fourier power spectrum can be fitted by a single power law. As reported in previous works using the multiscale non-Gaussian segmentation (MnGSeg) technique, it is proven that the fit of a single power law reflects the inability of the Fourier power spectrum to detect the progressive non-Gaussian contributions that are at the origin of these structures across the inertial range of the power spectrum. The mutifractal nature of these coherent structures is discussed, and an extension of the MnGSeg technique is proposed to calculate the multifractal spectrum that is associated with them. Using directional wavelets, we show that filamentary structures can easily be produced without changing the general shape of the power spectrum. The cumulative effect of random multiplicative sequences succeeds in producing the general aspect of filamentary structures similar to those associated with star-forming regions. The filamentary structures are formed through the product of a large number of random-phase linear waves at different spatial wavelengths. Dynamically, this effect might be associated with the collection of compressive processes that occur in the interstellar medium.
Key words: ISM: general / ISM: structure / turbulence / waves / methods: statistical / techniques: image processing
© J.-F. Robitaille et al. 2020
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