Triggered star formation in bright rimmed clouds: The Eagle nebula revisited

Miao, J.; White, Glenn J.; Nelson, R.; Thompson, M. and Morgan, L. (2006). Triggered star formation in bright rimmed clouds: The Eagle nebula revisited. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 369(1) pp. 143–155.



A three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics model has been extended to study the radiation-driven implosion effect of massive stars on the dynamical evolution of surrounding molecular clouds. The new elements in the upgraded code are the inclusion of Lyman continuum in the incident radiation flux and the treatment of hydrogen ionization process; the introduction of ionization heating and recombination cooling effects; and the addition of a proper description of the magnetic and turbulent pressures to the internal pressure of the molecular cloud. This extended code not only provides a realistic model to trace the dynamical evolution of a molecular cloud, but also can be used to model the kinematics of the ionization and shock fronts and the photoevaporating gas surrounding the molecular cloud, which the previous code is unable to handle.

The application of this newly developed model to the structure of the middle Eagle nebula finger suggests that the shock induced by the ionizing radiation at the front side of the head precedes an ionization front moving towards the centre of the core, and that the core at the fingertip is at a transition stage evolving toward a state of induced star formation. The dynamical evolution of the velocity field of the simulated cloud structure is discussed to illustrate the role of the self-gravity and the different cloud morphologies which appear at different stages in the evolutionary process of the cloud. The motion of the ionization front and the evaporating gas are also investigated. The modelled gas evaporation rate is consistent with that of other current models and the density, temperature and chemical profiles are in agreement with the observed values.

The relative lifetimes of different simulated cloud morphologies suggest a possible answer to the question of why more bright-rimmed clouds are observed to possess a flat-core than an elongated-core morphology.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions