Investigating the role of magnetic fields in star formation using molecular line profiles
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Determining the importance of magnetic fields in star-forming environments is hampered by the difficulty of accurately measuring both field strength and gas properties in molecular clouds. We post-process three-dimensional non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic simulations of pre-stellar cores with a time-dependent chemical network, and use radiative transfer modelling to calculate self-consistent molecular line profiles. Varying the initial mass-to-flux ratio from subcritical to supercritical results in significant changes to both the intensity and shape of several observationally important molecular lines. We identify the peak intensity ratio of N2H+ to CS lines, and the CS J = 2–1 blue-to-red peak intensity ratio, as promising diagnostics of the initial mass-to-flux ratio, with N2H+/CS values of >0.6 (<0.2) and CS blue/red values of <3 (>5) indicating subcritical (supercritical) collapse. These criteria suggest that, despite presently being magnetically supercritical, L1498 formed from subcritical initial conditions.
Yin , C , Priestley , F D & Wurster , J 2021 , ' Investigating the role of magnetic fields in star formation using molecular line profiles ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 504 , no. 2 , pp. 2381–2389 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab1039
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab1039.
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