Astrophys. J., 740, 74 (2011/October-3)
Radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of the formation of orion-like star clusters. I. Implications for the origin of the initial mass function.
KRUMHOLZ M.R., KLEIN R.I. and McKEE C.F.
Abstract (from CDS):
One model for the origin of typical Galactic star clusters such as the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) is that they form via the rapid, efficient collapse of a bound gas clump within a larger, gravitationally unbound giant molecular cloud. However, simulations in support of this scenario have thus far not included the radiation feedback produced by the stars; radiative simulations have been limited to significantly smaller or lower-density regions. Here we use the ORION AMR code to conduct the first ever radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of the global collapse scenario for the formation of an ONC-like cluster. We show that radiative feedback has a dramatic effect on the evolution: once the first ∼10%-20% of the gas mass is incorporated into stars, their radiative feedback raises the gas temperature high enough to suppress any further fragmentation. However, gas continues to accrete onto existing stars, and, as a result, the stellar mass distribution becomes increasingly top-heavy, eventually rendering it incompatible with the observed initial mass function (IMF). Systematic variation in the location of the IMF peak as star formation proceeds is incompatible with the observed invariance of the IMF between star clusters, unless some unknown mechanism synchronizes the IMFs in different clusters by ensuring that star formation is always truncated when the IMF peak reaches a particular value. We therefore conclude that the global collapse scenario, at least in its simplest form, is not compatible with the observed stellar IMF. We speculate that processes that slow down star formation, and thus reduce the accretion luminosity, may be able to resolve the problem.
ISM: clouds - radiative transfer - stars: formation - stars: luminosity function, mass function - turbulence
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