The dense ring in the Coalsack : the merging of two subsonic flows ?


A recent high angular resolution extinction map toward the most opaque molecular globule, Globule 2, in the Coalsack Nebula revealed that it contains a strong central ring of dust column density. This ring represents a region of high density and pressure that is likely a transient and possibly turbulent structure. Dynamical models suggest that the ring has formed as a result of a sudden increase in external pressure which is driving a compression wave into the Globule. Here we combine the extinction measurements with a detailed study of the CO(1–0) molecular line profiles toward Globule 2 in order to investigate the overall kinematics and, in doing so, test this dynamical model. We find that the ring corresponds to an enhancement in the CO non-thermal velocity dispersion and non-thermal pressure. We observe a velocity gradient across the Globule that appears to trace two distinct systematic subsonic velocity flows that happen to converge within the ring. We suggest, therefore, that the ring has formed as two subsonic flows of turbulent gas merge within the Globule. The fact that the outer layers of the Globule appear stable against collapse yet there is no centrally condensed core, suggests that the Globule may be evolving from the outside in and has yet to stabilize, confirming its youth.

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@inproceedings{Rathborne2008TheDR, title={The dense ring in the Coalsack : the merging of two subsonic flows ?}, author={J . M . Rathborne and Charles J . Lada and Wilfred Walsh}, year={2008} }