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  1. Abstract We present a comparison of low- J 13 CO and CS observations of four different regions in the LMC—the quiescent Molecular Ridge, 30 Doradus, N159, and N113, all at a resolution of ∼3 pc. The regions 30 Dor, N159, and N113 are actively forming massive stars, while the Molecular Ridge is forming almost no massive stars, despite its large reservoir of molecular gas and proximity to N159 and 30 Dor. We segment the emission from each region into hierarchical structures using dendrograms and analyze the sizes, masses, and line widths of these structures. We find that the Ridge has significantly lower kinetic energy at a given size scale and also lower surface densities than the other regions, resulting in higher virial parameters. This suggests that the Ridge is not forming massive stars as actively as the other regions because it has less dense gas and not because collapse is suppressed by excess kinetic energy. We also find that these physical conditions and energy balance vary significantly within the Ridge and that this variation appears only weakly correlated with distance from sites of massive-star formation such as R136 in 30 Dor, which is ∼1 kpc away. These variations also show only a weak correlation with local star formation activity within the clouds. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Recent theoretical and computational progress has led to unprecedented understanding of symmetry-breaking instabilities in 2D dynamic fracture. At the heart of this progress resides the identification of two intrinsic, near crack tip length scales — a nonlinear elastic length scale ℓ and a dissipation length scale ξ — that do not exist in Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM), the classical theory of cracks. In particular, it has been shown that at a propagation velocity v of about 90% of the shear wave-speed, cracks in 2D brittle materials undergo an oscillatory instability whose wavelength varies linearly with ℓ, and at larger loading levels (corresponding to yet higher propagation velocities), a tip-splitting instability emerges, both in agreements with experiments. In this paper, using phase-field models of brittle fracture, we demonstrate the following properties of the oscillatory instability: (i) It exists also in the absence of near-tip elastic nonlinearity, i.e. in the limit ℓ→0, with a wavelength determined by the dissipation length scale ξ. This result shows that the instability crucially depends on the existence of an intrinsic length scale associated with the breakdown of linear elasticity near crack tips, independently of whether the latter is related to nonlinear elasticity or to dissipation. (ii) It is a supercritical Hopf bifurcation, featuring a vanishing oscillations amplitude at onset. (iii) It is largely independent of the phenomenological forms of the degradation functions assumed in the phase-field framework to describe the cohesive zone, and of the velocity-dependence of the fracture energy Γ(v) that is controlled by the dissipation time scale in the Ginzburg-Landau-type evolution equation for the phase-field. These results substantiate the universal nature of the oscillatory instability in 2D. In addition, we provide evidence indicating that the tip-splitting instability is controlled by the limiting rate of elastic energy transport inside the crack tip region. The latter is sensitive to the wave-speed inside the dissipation zone, which can be systematically varied within the phase-field approach. Finally, we describe in detail the numerical implementation scheme of the employed phase-field fracture approach, allowing its application in a broad range of materials failure problems. 
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  3. The fourth orbit of Parker Solar Probe (PSP) reached heliocentric distances down to 27.9 R ⊙ , allowing solar wind turbulence and acceleration mechanisms to be studied in situ closer to the Sun than previously possible. The turbulence properties were found to be significantly different in the inbound and outbound portions of PSP’s fourth solar encounter, which was likely due to the proximity to the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) in the outbound period. Near the HCS, in the streamer belt wind, the turbulence was found to have lower amplitudes, higher magnetic compressibility, a steeper magnetic field spectrum (with a spectral index close to –5/3 rather than –3/2), a lower Alfvénicity, and a ‘1∕ f ’ break at much lower frequencies. These are also features of slow wind at 1 au, suggesting the near-Sun streamer belt wind to be the prototypical slow solar wind. The transition in properties occurs at a predicted angular distance of ≈4° from the HCS, suggesting ≈8° as the full-width of the streamer belt wind at these distances. While the majority of the Alfvénic turbulence energy fluxes measured by PSP are consistent with those required for reflection-driven turbulence models of solar wind acceleration, the fluxes in the streamer belt are significantly lower than the model predictions, suggesting that additional mechanisms are necessary to explain the acceleration of the streamer belt solar wind. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract

    A set of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are performed to assess the impact of assimilating Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) electron density profiles and ground‐based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) total electron content (TEC) observations in a whole atmosphere data assimilation system. The OSSEs are performed using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere‐ionosphere eXtension (WACCMX) with data assimilation provided by the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) ensemble adjustment Kalman filter. Results from the OSSEs demonstrate that the assimilation of ionosphere observations improves the short‐term (1 hr) forecasts and analyses. The OSSEs show that the short‐term forecasts and analyses are further improved when the ionosphere observations adjust the thermosphere neutral composition and temperature in addition to the ionosphere electron density. Based on an initialized forecast experiment, we find that adjusting the thermosphere neutral composition and temperature also leads to improved forecast skill in the ionosphere on longer time scales (i.e., beyond 1 hr). Additionally, it is shown that using a 1 hr data assimilation cycle, and removal of second‐order divergence damping in WACCMX+DART significantly improves tidal amplitudes, which were previously found to be too small. These initial results represent the first whole atmosphere data assimilation system with capabilities to assimilate observations from the troposphere to the ionosphere‐thermosphere.

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