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Astrophysics Colloquium

Shocks and Star Formation
Presented by Lars Kristensen
Radio and Geoastronomy Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Thursday, February 26, 2015
4:00 P.M. in 169-336

Forming stars, whether high- or low-mass, drive shocks into the surrounding medium through winds and jets launched close to the accreting protostar. The winds and jets interact with the infalling envelope and the surrounding cloud material on scales from less than 100 AU to several parsec. How the shocks influence the quiescent material depends, in particular, on the shock velocity and the ambient magnetic field and gas density, and interpreting any observations of shocks require a detailed comparison to sophisticated shock models. Through model comparison it is possible to infer how the shocks affect and feed back on the star formation process.

I will discuss observations of shocks in both low- and high-mass protostars, with a particular emphasis on how these observations can be extrapolated to the extragalactic regime. I will discuss how one particular shock tracer, water, has changed the way we view feedback from low-mass protostars on their surrounding envelope, both on small and large scales. Finally I will discuss how high-resolution ALMA data can be used to directly image the feedback, and I will project these results to larger scales where interacting galaxies drive kilo-parsec scale shocks into their interstellar media.

JPL Contact: Jorge Pineda (4-3347)

SVCP Astrophysics

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