University of Heidelberg

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"The density structure of the Galactic Centre cloud G0.253+0.016"

The movie on the right shows the density structure in one of our simulations that were used in the paper on G0.253+0.016 - a very dense and massive cloud that sits near the Galactic Centre. The movie is centred on the first dense core to form a protostar. The gas near the Milky Way centre is typically moving at many times the speed of sound, in what appears to be randomly orientated flows. When these flows collide, the gas is compressed in shocks. Rather than heating the gas, as the case for shocks in our own atmosphere, this process actually helps the gas to cool, since it encourages collisions between the molecules that make up the gas and the dust grains in the cloud. The energy is then transferred to the dust, allowing the gas to cool down. These shocks produce the dense cores where the protostars form -- such as the one in the centre of the movie -- and are responsible for the wispy, filamentary structure that we can see in the cloud. The colour-scales in the images are taken from

Responsible: Paul C. Clark, last modification Sep/11/2013 15:46 CEST
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