Enhanced cloud disruption by magnetic field interaction

G. Gregori, Francesco Miniati, Dongsu Ryu, T. W. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We present results from the first three-dimensional numerical simulations of moderately supersonic cloud motion through a tenuous, magnetized medium. We show that the interaction of the cloud with a magnetic field perpendicular to its motion has a great dynamical impact on the development of instabilities at the cloud surface. Even for initially spherical clouds, magnetic field lines become trapped in surface deformations and undergo stretching. The consequent field amplification that occurs there and, in particular, its variation across the cloud face then dramatically enhance the growth rate of Rayleigh-Taylor unstable modes, hastening the cloud disruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L113-L116
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 20 1999


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • Instabilities
  • MHD
  • Methods: numerical


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