GMC Collisions as Triggers of Star Formation. VII. The Effect of Magnetic Field Strength on Star Formation
Journal article, 2020

We investigate the formation of stars within giant molecular clouds (GMCs) evolving in environments of different global magnetic field strength and large-scale dynamics. Building upon a series of magnetohydrodynamic simulations of noncolliding and colliding GMCs, we employ density- and magnetically regulated star formation subgrid models in clouds that range from moderately magnetically supercritical to near critical. We examine gas and star cluster morphologies, magnetic field strengths and relative orientations, prestellar core densities, temperatures, mass-to-flux ratios and velocities, star formation rates and efficiencies over time, spatial clustering of stars, and kinematics of the stars and natal gas. The large-scale magnetic criticality of the region greatly affects the overall gas evolution and star formation properties. GMC collisions enhance star formation rates and efficiencies in magnetically supercritical conditions, but may actually inhibit them in the magnetically critical case. This may have implications for star formation in different Galactic environments such as the Galactic Center and the main Galactic disk.

Interstellar magnetic fields

Molecular clouds

Interstellar medium

Star formation


Benjamin Wu

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Jonathan Tan

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics

Duncan Christie

University of Virginia

Fumitaka Nakamura

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Astrophysical Journal

0004-637X (ISSN) 1538-4357 (eISSN)

Vol. 891 2 168

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Materials Chemistry

Other Physics Topics



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