NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS of TURBULENT MOLECULAR CLOUDS REGULATED by REPROCESSED RADIATION FEEDBACK from NASCENT SUPER STAR CLUSTERS

M. Aaron Skinner, Eve Charis Ostriker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Radiation feedback from young star clusters embedded in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) is believed to be important to the control of star formation. For the most massive and dense clouds, including those in which super star clusters (SSCs) are born, pressure from reprocessed radiation exerted on dust grains may disperse a significant portion of the cloud mass back into the interstellar medium. Using our radiation hydrodynamics code, Hyperion, we conduct a series of numerical simulations to test this idea. Our models follow the evolution of self-gravitating, strongly turbulent clouds in which collapsing regions are replaced by radiating sink particles representing stellar clusters. We evaluate the dependence of the star formation efficiency (SFE) on the size and mass of the cloud and κ, the opacity of the gas to infrared (IR) radiation. We find that the single most important parameter determining the evolutionary outcome is κ, with needed to disrupt clouds. For , the resulting SFE is similar to empirical estimates for some SSC-forming clouds. The opacities required for GMC disruption likely apply only in dust-enriched environments. We find that the subgrid model approach of boosting the direct radiation force by a "trapping factor" equal to a cloud's mean IR optical depth can overestimate the true radiation force by factors of . We conclude that feedback from reprocessed IR radiation alone is unlikely to significantly reduce star formation within GMCs unless their dust abundances or cluster light-to-mass ratios are enhanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number187
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume809
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • ISM: clouds
  • galaxies: star clusters: general
  • hydrodynamics
  • methods: numerical
  • radiative transfer
  • stars: formation

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