Stellar radiation is critical for regulating star formation and driving outflows in low-mass dwarf galaxies.
EMERICK A., BRYAN G.L. and MAC LOW M.-M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Effective stellar feedback is used in models of galaxy formation to drive realistic galaxy evolution. Models typically include energy injection from supernovae (SNe) as the dominant form of stellar feedback, often in some form of sub-grid recipe. However, it has been recently suggested that pre-SN feedback (stellar winds or radiation) is necessary in high-resolution simulations of galaxy evolution to properly regulate star formation and properties of the interstellar medium (ISM). Following these processes is computationally challenging, so many prescriptions model this feedback approximately, accounting for the local destruction of dense gas clouds around newly formed stars in lieu of a full radiative transfer calculation. In this Letter we examine high-resolution simulations (1.8 pc) of an isolated dwarf galaxy with detailed stellar feedback tracked on a star-by-star basis. By following stellar ionizing radiation with an adaptive ray-tracing radiative transfer method, we test its importance in regulating star formation and driving outflows in this galaxy. We find that including ionizing radiation reduces the star formation rate (SFR) by over a factor of 5, and is necessary to produce the ISM conditions needed for SNe to drive significant outflows. We find that a localized approximation for radiation feedback is sufficient to regulate the SFR on short timescales, but does not allow significant outflows. Short- and long-range radiation effects are both important in driving the evolution of our low-metallicity, low-mass dwarf galaxy. Generalizing these results to more massive galaxies would be a valuable avenue of future research.