Observations of Turbulence Dissipating in Giant Molecular Clouds
Andy Pon (University of Western Ontario)
January 21, 2016
Abstract: Stars form in giant molecular clouds. The gas within these clouds is very turbulent, with gas flows regularly colliding at supersonic speeds. Such collisions create powerful shocks that should rapidly dissipate the turbulent energy from the clouds. I have analyzed numerical models of shocks appropriate for the turbulent conditions within star forming regions and have identified mid-J rotational transitions of CO as observational tracers of this shock dissipation. In this talk, I describe the shock models that I have used and present observations of potentially shock tracing lines towards both low mass and high mass star forming regions. I will then discuss the interpretation of these observations and what they can tell us about the nature of shocks within star forming regions.