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Geneviève Parmentier

Källén Seminar for Young Astronomers on March 1, 2022

The Density Gradient Inside Molecular-Gas Clumps as a Booster of their Star Formation Activity


The presence of a gas volume-density gradient inside star-forming regions allows them to raise their star formation rate compared to what they would experience if their gas was of uniform density. This effect is quantified by the “magnification factor", which defines the ratio between the star formation rate of a centrally-concentrated clump and the star formation rate that this clump would experience should its gas be uniformly distributed. Magnification factors reaching an order of magnitude or more can be achieved when gas density profiles are as steep as in the densest regions of the nearby molecular clouds MonR2 and NGC 6334. The implications for the relation between dense-gas mass and star formation rate of molecular clouds, both in the disk and Central Molecular Zone of the Galaxy, will be discussed.