Galactic star formation in parsec-scale resolution simulations

Leila C. Powell, Frederic Bournaud, Damien Chapon, Julien Devriendt, Adrianne Slyz, Romain Teyssier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The interstellar medium (ISM) in galaxies is multiphase and cloudy, with stars forming in the very dense, cold gas found in Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). Simulating the evolution of an entire galaxy, however, is a computational problem which covers many orders of magnitude, so many simulations cannot reach densities high enough or temperatures low enough to resolve this multiphase nature. Therefore, the formation of GMCs is not captured and the resulting gas distribution is smooth, contrary to observations. We investigate how star formation (SF) proceeds in simulated galaxies when we obtain parsec-scale resolution and more successfully capture the multiphase ISM. Both major mergers and the accretion of cold gas via filaments are dominant contributors to a galaxy's total stellar budget and we examine SF at high resolution in both of these contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Star Formation
EditorsJoao Alves, Bruce G. Elmegreen, Josep M. Girart, Virginia Trimble, Virginia Trimble
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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


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