Shock-cloud interaction and gas-dust spatial separation
Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, KU Leuven Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Received: 27 September 2016
Accepted: 13 January 2017
Context. We revisit the study of shocks interacting with molecular clouds, incorporating coupled gas-dust dynamics.
Aims. We study the effect of different parameters on the shock-cloud interaction, such as the dust-to-gas ratio or the Mach number of the impinging shock. By solving self-consistently for drag-coupled gas and dust evolutions, we can assess the frequently made assumption that the dust is locked to the dynamics of the gas so that dust observations would result in direct information on the gas distribution.
Methods. We used a multi-fluid model where the dust is represented by grain-size specific pressureless fluids. The dust and gas interact through a drag force, and we used four dust species with weighted representative sizes between 1 and 500 nm. We use the open source code MPI-AMRVAC for a parametric study of the effect of the gas-dust ratio and the Mach number of the shock. By using the radiative transfer code SKIRT, we create synthetic millimeter wavelength maps to connect to observations.
Results. We find that the presence of dust does not significantly affect the dynamics of the gas for realistic dust-gas ratios, and this is the case throughout the range of Mach numbers explored (1.5−10). For high Mach numbers, we find a significant discrepancy between the distribution of the dust and gas after the cloud-shock interaction with the larger dust species clearly lagging the heavily mixed and accelerated gas (re)distribution.
Conclusions. We conclude that observational studies of dusty environments may need to account for clearly separated spatial distributions of dust and gas, especially those studies that are representative of molecular clouds that have been interacting with high Mach number shock fronts.
Key words: ISM: clouds / dust, extinction / hydrodynamics
© ESO, 2017