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Star cluster formation in a turbulent molecular cloud self-regulated by photoionization feedback


Gavagnin, Elena; Bleuler, Andreas; Rosdahl, Joakim; Teyssier, Romain (2017). Star cluster formation in a turbulent molecular cloud self-regulated by photoionization feedback. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 472(4):4155-4172.

Abstract

Most stars in the Galaxy are believed to be formed within star clusters from collapsing molecular clouds. However, the complete process of star formation, from the parent cloud to a gas-free star cluster, is still poorly understood. We perform radiation-hydrodynamical simulations of the collapse of a turbulent molecular cloud using the ramses-rt code. Stars are modelled using sink particles, from which we self-consistently follow the propagation of the ionizing radiation. We study how different feedback models affect the gas expulsion from the cloud and how they shape the final properties of the emerging star cluster. We find that the star formation efficiency is lower for stronger feedback models. Feedback also changes the high-mass end of the stellar mass function. Stronger feedback also allows the establishment of a lower density star cluster, which can maintain a virial or sub-virial state. In the absence of feedback, the star formation efficiency is very high, as well as the final stellar density. As a result, high-energy close encounters make the cluster evaporate quickly. Other indicators, such as mass segregation, statistics of multiple systems and escaping stars confirm this picture. Observations of young star clusters are in best agreement with our strong feedback simulation.

Abstract

Most stars in the Galaxy are believed to be formed within star clusters from collapsing molecular clouds. However, the complete process of star formation, from the parent cloud to a gas-free star cluster, is still poorly understood. We perform radiation-hydrodynamical simulations of the collapse of a turbulent molecular cloud using the ramses-rt code. Stars are modelled using sink particles, from which we self-consistently follow the propagation of the ionizing radiation. We study how different feedback models affect the gas expulsion from the cloud and how they shape the final properties of the emerging star cluster. We find that the star formation efficiency is lower for stronger feedback models. Feedback also changes the high-mass end of the stellar mass function. Stronger feedback also allows the establishment of a lower density star cluster, which can maintain a virial or sub-virial state. In the absence of feedback, the star formation efficiency is very high, as well as the final stellar density. As a result, high-energy close encounters make the cluster evaporate quickly. Other indicators, such as mass segregation, statistics of multiple systems and escaping stars confirm this picture. Observations of young star clusters are in best agreement with our strong feedback simulation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:23 Feb 2018 07:38
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 17:46
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2222

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