Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 469, 1282-1298 (2017/August-1)
A unified model for the maximum mass scales of molecular clouds, stellar clusters and high-redshift clumps.
REINA-CAMPOS M. and KRUIJSSEN J.M.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a simple, self-consistent model to predict the maximum masses of giant molecular clouds (GMCs), stellar clusters and high-redshift clumps as a function of the galactic environment. Recent works have proposed that these maximum masses are set by shearing motions and centrifugal forces, but we show that this idea is inconsistent with the low masses observed across an important range of local-Universe environments, such as low-surface density galaxies and galaxy outskirts. Instead, we propose that feedback from young stars can disrupt clouds before the global collapse of the shear-limited area is completed. We develop a shear-feedback hybrid model that depends on three observable quantities: the gas surface density, the epicylic frequency and the Toomre parameter. The model is tested in four galactic environments: the Milky Way, the Local Group galaxy M31, the spiral galaxy M83 and the high-redshift galaxy zC406690. We demonstrate that our model simultaneously reproduces the observed maximum masses of GMCs, clumps and clusters in each of these environments. We find that clouds and clusters in M31 and in the Milky Way are feedback-limited beyond radii of 8.4 and 4 kpc, respectively, whereas the masses in M83 and zC406690 are shear-limited at all radii. In zC406690, the maximum cluster masses decrease further due to their inspiral by dynamical friction. These results illustrate that the maximum masses change from being shear-limited to being feedback-limited as galaxies become less gas rich and evolve towards low shear. This explains why high-redshift clumps are more massive than GMCs in the local Universe.
© 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
stars: formation - ISM: clouds - globular clusters: general - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: formation - galaxies: star clusters: general - galaxies: star clusters: general
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