Star Formation Regulation and Self-pollution by Stellar Wind Feedback

Lachlan Lancaster, Eve C. Ostriker, Jeong Gyu Kim, Chang Goo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stellar winds contain enough energy to easily disrupt the parent cloud surrounding a nascent star cluster, and for this reason they have long been considered candidates for regulating star formation. However, direct observations suggest most wind power is lost, and Lancaster et al. recently proposed that this is due to efficient mixing and cooling processes. Here we simulate star formation with wind feedback in turbulent, self-gravitating clouds, extending our previous work. Our simulations cover clouds with an initial surface density of 102-104 M o˙ pc-2 and show that star formation and residual gas dispersal are complete within two to eight initial cloud freefall times. The "efficiently cooled"model for stellar wind bubble evolution predicts that enough energy is lost for the bubbles to become momentum-driven; we find that this is satisfied in our simulations. We also find that wind energy losses from turbulent, radiative mixing layers dominate losses by "cloud leakage"over the timescales relevant for star formation. We show that the net star formation efficiency (SFE) in our simulations can be explained by theories that apply wind momentum to disperse cloud gas, allowing for highly inhomogeneous internal cloud structure. For very dense clouds, the SFE is similar to those observed in extreme star-forming environments. Finally, we find that, while self-pollution by wind material is insignificant in cloud conditions with moderate density (only ≲10-4 of the stellar mass originated in winds), our simulations with conditions more typical of a super star cluster have star particles that form with as much as 1% of their mass in wind material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL3
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume922
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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