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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/MNRAS/STAB278

STARFORGE: the effects of protostellar outflows on the IMF

02 Mar 2021-Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Oxford Academic)-Vol. 502, Iss: 3, pp 3646-3663
Abstract: The initial mass function (IMF) of stars is a key quantity affecting almost every field of astrophysics, yet it remains unclear what physical mechanisms determine it. We present the first runs of the STARFORGE project, using a new numerical framework to follow the formation of individual stars in giant molecular clouds (GMCs) using the GIZMO code. Our suite include runs with increasingly complex physics, starting with isothermal ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and then adding non-isothermal thermodynamics and protostellar outflows. We show that without protostellar outflows the resulting stellar masses are an order of magnitude too high, similar to the result in the base isothermal MHD run. Outflows disrupt the accretion flow around the protostar, allowing gas to fragment and additional stars to form, thereby lowering the mean stellar mass to a value similar to that observed. The effect of jets upon global cloud evolution is most pronounced for lower-mass GMCs and dense clumps, so while jets can disrupt low-mass clouds, they are unable to regulate star formation in massive GMCs, as they would turn an order unity fraction of the mass into stars before unbinding the cloud. Jets are also unable to stop the runaway accretion of massive stars, which could ultimately lead to the formation of stars with masses $\mathrm{>500\,M_\odot}$. Although we find that the mass scale set by jets is insensitive to most cloud parameters (i.e., surface density, virial parameter), it is strongly dependent on the momentum loading of the jets (which is poorly constrained by observations) as well the the temperature of the parent cloud, which predicts slightly larger IMF variations than observed. We conclude that protostellar jets play a vital role in setting the mass scale of stars, but additional physics are necessary to reproduce the observed IMF.

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Topics: Initial mass function (62%), Star formation (58%), Protostar (58%) ... show more

12 results found

Open access
01 Jan 1997-
Abstract: We propose that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) is universal in the sense that its functional form arises as a consequence of the statistics of random supersonic flows. A model is developed for the origin of the stellar IMF, that contains a dependence on the average physical parameters (temperature, density, velocity dispersion) of the large scale site of star formation. The model is based on recent numerical experiments of highly supersonic random flows that have a strong observational counterpart. It is shown that a Miller-Scalo like IMF is naturally produced by the model for the typical physical conditions in molecular clouds. A more ``massive'' IMF in star bursts is also predicted.

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319 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/MNRAS/STAB1347
Abstract: We present STARFORGE (STAR FORmation in Gaseous Environments): a new numerical framework for 3D radiation MHD simulations of star formation that simultaneously follow the formation, accretion, evolution, and dynamics of individual stars in massive giant molecular clouds (GMCs) while accounting for stellar feedback, including jets, radiative heating and momentum, stellar winds, and supernovae. We use the GIZMO code with the MFM mesh-free Lagrangian MHD method, augmented with new algorithms for gravity, timestepping, sink particle formation and accretion, stellar dynamics, and feedback coupling. We survey a wide range of numerical parameters/prescriptions for sink formation and accretion and find very small variations in star formation history and the IMF (except for intentionally-unphysical variations). Modules for mass-injecting feedback (winds, SNe, and jets) inject new gas elements on-the-fly, eliminating the lack of resolution in diffuse feedback cavities otherwise inherent in Lagrangian methods. The treatment of radiation uses GIZMO's radiative transfer solver to track 5 frequency bands (IR, optical, NUV, FUV, ionizing), coupling direct stellar emission and dust emission with gas heating and radiation pressure terms. We demonstrate accurate solutions for SNe, winds, and radiation in problems with known similarity solutions, and show that our jet module is robust to resolution and numerical details, and agrees well with previous AMR simulations. STARFORGE can scale up to massive ($>10^5 M_\odot $) GMCs on current supercomputers while predicting the stellar ($\gtrsim 0.1 M_\odot$) range of the IMF, permitting simulations of both high- and low-mass cluster formation in a wide range of conditions.

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Topics: Star formation (60%), Stellar dynamics (57%), Radiation pressure (56%) ... show more

15 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/MNRAS/STAB1894
Abstract: We present a large suite of MHD simulations of turbulent, star-forming giant molecular clouds(GMCs) with stellar feedback, extending previous work by simulating 10 different random realizations for each point in the parameter space of cloud mass and size. It is found that oncethe clouds disperse due to stellar feedback, both self-gravitating star clusters and unbound stars generally remain, which arise from the same underlying continuum of substructured stellar density, ie. the hierarchical cluster formation scenario. The fraction of stars that are born within gravitationally-bound star clusters is related to the overall cloud star formation efficiency set by stellar feedback, but has significant scatter due to stochastic variations in the small-scale details of the star-forming gas flow. We use our numerical results to calibrate a model for mapping the bulk properties (mass, size, and metallicity) of self-gravitating GMCs onto the star cluster populations they form, expressed statistically in terms of cloud-level distributions. Synthesizing cluster catalogues from an observed GMC catalogue in M83, we find that this model predicts initial star cluster masses and sizes that are in good agreement with observations, using only standard IMF and stellar evolution models as inputs for feedback. Within our model, the ratio of the strength of gravity to stellar feedback is the key parameter setting the masses of star clusters, and of the various feedback channels direct stellar radiation(photon momentum and photoionization) is the most important on GMC scales.

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Topics: Star formation (67%), Star cluster (66%), Stellar density (66%) ... show more

14 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/MNRAS/STAA1883
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of self-gravitating, isothermal, magnetized gas is crucial for star formation, as these physical processes have been postulated to set the initial mass function (IMF) We present a suite of isothermal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations using the GIZMO code, that resolve the formation of individual stars in giant molecular clouds (GMCs), spanning a range of Mach numbers found in observed GMCs As in past works, the mean and median stellar masses are sensitive to numerical resolution, because they are sensitive to low-mass stars that contribute a vanishing fraction of the overall stellar mass The mass-weighted median stellar mass M₅₀ becomes insensitive to resolution once turbulent fragmentation is well-resolved Without imposing Larson-like scaling laws, our simulations find M₅₀∝M₀M⁻³α_(turb)SFEA^(1/3) for GMC mass M₀, sonic Mach number M, virial parameter αturb, and star formation efficiency SFE=M⋆/M₀ This fit agrees well with previous IMF results from the RAMSES, ORION2, and SphNG codes Although M₅₀ has no significant dependence on the magnetic field strength at the cloud scale, MHD is necessary to prevent a fragmentation cascade that results in non-convergent stellar masses For initial conditions and SFE similar to star-forming GMCs in our Galaxy, we predict M₅₀ to be >20M⊙, an order of magnitude larger than observed (∼2M⊙), together with an excess of brown dwarfs Moreover, M₅₀ is sensitive to initial cloud properties and evolves strongly in time within a given cloud, predicting much larger IMF variations than are observationally allowed We conclude that physics beyond MHD turbulence and gravity are necessary ingredients for the IMF

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Topics: Initial mass function (63%), Stellar mass (59%), Star formation (59%) ... show more

13 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ABEC84
Abstract: Young massive clusters play an important role in the evolution of their host galaxies, and feedback from the high-mass stars in these clusters can have profound effects on the surrounding interstellar medium. The nuclear starburst in the nearby galaxy NGC253 at a distance of 3.5 Mpc is a key laboratory in which to study star formation in an extreme environment. Previous high resolution (1.9 pc) dust continuum observations from ALMA discovered 14 compact, massive super star clusters (SSCs) still in formation. We present here ALMA data at 350 GHz with 28 milliarcsecond (0.5 pc) resolution. We detect blueshifted absorption and redshifted emission (P-Cygni profiles) towards three of these SSCs in multiple lines, including CS 7$-$6 and H$^{13}$CN 4$-$3, which represents direct evidence for previously unobserved outflows. The mass contained in these outflows is a significant fraction of the cluster gas masses, which suggests we are witnessing a short but important phase. Further evidence of this is the finding of a molecular shell around the only SSC visible at near-IR wavelengths. We model the P-Cygni line profiles to constrain the outflow geometry, finding that the outflows must be nearly spherical. Through a comparison of the outflow properties with predictions from simulations, we find that none of the available mechanisms completely explains the observations, although dust-reprocessed radiation pressure and O star stellar winds are the most likely candidates. The observed outflows will have a very substantial effect on the clusters' evolution and star formation efficiency.

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Topics: Star formation (61%), Star cluster (60%), O-type star (57%) ... show more

6 Citations


129 results found

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1086/145971
Abstract: The evolutionary significance of the observed luminosity function for main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood is discussed. The hypothesis is made that stars move off the main sequence after burning about 10 per cent of their hydrogen mass and that stars have been created at a uniform rate in the solar neighborhood for the last five billion years. Using this hypothesis and the observed luminosity function, the rate of star creation as a function of stellar mass is calculated. The total number and mass of stars which have moved off the main sequence is found to be comparable with the total number of white dwarfs and with the total mass of all fainter main-sequence stars, respectively.

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Topics: Luminosity function (astronomy) (79%), Luminosity (70%), Initial mass function (61%) ... show more

8,092 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/J.1365-2966.2005.09655.X
Volker Springel1Institutions (1)
Abstract: We discuss the cosmological simulation code GADGET-2, a new massively parallel TreeSPH code, capable of following a collisionless fluid with the N-body method, and an ideal gas by means of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). Our implementation of SPH manifestly conserves energy and entropy in regions free of dissipation, while allowing for fully adaptive smoothing lengths. Gravitational forces are computed with a hierarchical multipole expansion, which can optionally be applied in the form of a TreePM algorithm, where only short-range forces are computed with the ‘tree’ method while long-range forces are determined with Fourier techniques. Time integration is based on a quasi-symplectic scheme where long-range and short-range forces can be integrated with different time-steps. Individual and adaptive short-range time-steps may also be employed. The domain decomposition used in the parallelization algorithm is based on a space-filling curve, resulting in high flexibility and tree force errors that do not depend on the way the domains are cut. The code is efficient in terms of memory consumption and required communication bandwidth. It has been used to compute the first cosmological N-body simulation with more than 10 10 dark matter particles, reaching a homogeneous spatial dynamic range of 10 5 per dimension in a three-dimensional box. It has also been used to carry out very large cosmological SPH simulations that account for radiative cooling and star formation, reaching total particle numbers of more than 250 million. We present the algorithms used by the code and discuss their accuracy and performance using a number of test problems. GADGET-2 is publicly released to the research community. Ke yw ords: methods: numerical ‐ galaxies: interactions ‐ dark matter.

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Topics: N-body simulation (55%), Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (54%), Matter power spectrum (51%) ... show more

6,033 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1006/ICAR.1999.6299
01 Jan 2000-Icarus
Abstract: The revolutionary discovery of thousands of confirmed and candidate planets beyond the solar system brings forth the most fundamental question: How do planets and their host stars form and evolve?Protostars and Planets VI brings together more than 250 contributing authors at the forefront of their field, conveying the latest results in this research area and establishing a new foundation for advancing our understanding of stellar and planetary formation. Continuing the tradition of the Protostars and Planets series, this latest volume uniquely integrates the cross-disciplinary aspects of this broad field. Covering an extremely wide range of scales, from the formation of large clouds in our Milky Way galaxy down to small chondrules in our solar system, Protostars and Planets VI takes an encompassing view with the goal of not only highlighting what we know but, most importantly, emphasizing the frontiers of what we do not know. As a vehicle for propelling forward new discoveries on stars, planets, and their origins, this latest volume in the Space Science Series is an indispensable resource for both current scientists and new students in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, and the study of meteorites.

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Topics: Planet (58%), Solar System (54%), Planetary science (52%)

4,437 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/MNRAS/194.4.809
Richard B. Larson1Institutions (1)
Topics: Star formation (75%), Protostar (72%), Interstellar cloud (67%) ... show more

2,386 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1086/318388
Thomas M. Dame1, D. H. Hartmann1, P. Thaddeus1Institutions (1)
Abstract: New large-scale CO surveys of the first and second Galactic quadrants and the nearby molecular cloud complexes in Orion and Taurus, obtained with the CfA 1.2 m telescope, have been combined with 31 other surveys obtained over the past two decades with that instrument and a similar telescope on Cerro Tololo in Chile, to produce a new composite CO survey of the entire Milky Way. The survey consists of 488,000 spectra that Nyquist or beamwidth ( °) sample the entire Galactic plane over a strip 4°-10° wide in latitude, and beamwidth or ° sample nearly all large local clouds at higher latitudes. Compared with the previous composite CO survey of Dame et al. (1987), the new survey has 16 times more spectra, up to 3.4 times higher angular resolution, and up to 10 times higher sensitivity per unit solid angle. Each of the component surveys was integrated individually using clipping or moment masking to produce composite spatial and longitude-velocity maps of the Galaxy that display nearly all of the statistically significant emission in each survey but little noise. The composite maps provide detailed information on individual molecular clouds, suggest relationships between clouds and regions widely separated on the sky, and clearly display the main structural features of the molecular Galaxy. In addition, since the gas, dust, and Population I objects associated with molecular clouds contribute to the Galactic emission in every major wavelength band, the precise kinematic information provided by the present survey will form the foundation for many large-scale Galactic studies. A map of molecular column density predicted from complete and unbiased far-infrared and 21 cm surveys of the Galaxy was used both to determine the completeness of the present survey and to extrapolate it to the entire sky at |b| 5°), X shows little systematic variation with latitude from a mean value of (1.8 ± 0.3) × 1020 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s. Given the large sky area and large quantity of CO data analyzed, we conclude that this is the most reliable measurement to date of the mean X value in the solar neighborhood.

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Topics: Galactic plane (59%), Milky Way (58%), Galaxy (57%) ... show more

2,166 Citations

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