A new star formation recipe for magnetohydrodynamics simulations of galaxy formation

Eden Girma, Romain Teyssier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Star formation has been observed to occur at globally low yet locally varying efficiencies. As such, accurate capture of star formation in numerical simulations requires mechanisms that can replicate both its smaller scale variations and larger scale properties. Magnetic fields are thought to play an essential role within the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM) and affect molecular cloud collapse. However, it remains to be fully explored how a magnetized model of star formation might influence galaxy evolution. We present a new model for a sub-grid star formation recipe that depends on the magnetic field. We run isolated disc galaxy simulations to assess its impact on the regulation of star formation using the code ramses. Building upon existing numerical methods, our model derives the star formation efficiency from local properties of the sub-grid magnetized ISM turbulence, assuming a constant Alfvén speed at sub-parsec scales. Compared to its non-magnetized counterpart, our star formation model suppresses the initial starburst by a factor of 2 while regulating star formation later on to a nearly constant rate of ∼1 MO yr-1. Differences also arise in the local Schmidt law with a shallower power-law index for the magnetized star formation model. Our results encourage further examination into the notion that magnetic fields are likely to play a non-trivial role in our understanding of star and galaxy formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6779-6794
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: star formation
  • methods: numerical
  • stars: formation


Dive into the research topics of 'A new star formation recipe for magnetohydrodynamics simulations of galaxy formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this