One-point Statistics of Velocity Fluctuations in Star-Forming Regions

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Session 84 -- Star Forming Clouds
Display presentation, Wednesday, 11, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[84.14] One-point Statistics of Velocity Fluctuations in Star-Forming Regions

Mark S. Miesch (JILA), John M. Scalo (U. of Texas)

Probability density functions (pdfs) of $^{13}CO$ emission line centroid (line-of-sight, intensity-weighted average) velocities are presented for several densely sampled molecular clouds as quantitative descriptors of their underlying dynamics. Although some are approximately Gaussian in form, most of the pdfs exhibit relatively broader, often nearly exponential, tails, similar to the pdfs of velocity {\em differences} and derivatives (but not the velocity field itself) found in experiments and numerical simulations of incompressible turbulence. The broad pdf tails found in the present work are also similar to those found in decades-old measurements of interstellar velocity pdfs using atomic line centroids, and to the excess wing emission recently found in individual molecular line profiles. Linewidth pdfs are also presented and are found to exhibit somewhat regular shapes for the different regions, characterized by broad, exponential high-velocity tails. Some possible interpretations of the observed pdf shapes are briefly considered.

Wednesday program listing