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molecular cloud collapse

The gas column-density in a collapsing molecular cloud. The initial turbulent velocity field results in filamentary structure, and dense cores form in regions where filaments meet, as shocks dissipate the turbulent energy initially supporting the cloud, allowing local regions of the cloud to collapse. These cores become the primary sites of star-formation in the cloud, heating the surrounding regions as gas falls into the potential well of the core and is accreted by the protostars within.

Methods: sphNG code