Formation of stellar clusters
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We investigate the triggering of star formation and the formation of stellar clusters in molecular clouds which form as the interstellar medium passes through spiral shocks. The spiral shock compresses gas into an ∼100 pc long main star formation ridge, where clusters form every 5–10 pc along the merger ridge. We use a gravitational potential-based cluster finding algorithm, which extracts individual clusters, calculates their physical properties and traces cluster evolution over multiple time-steps. Final cluster masses at the end of simulation range between 1000 and 30 000 M⊙ with their characteristic half-mass radii between 0.1 and 2 pc. These clusters form by gathering material from 10–20 pc size scales. Clusters also show a mass-specific angular momentum relation, where more massive clusters have larger specific angular momentum due to the larger size scales, and hence angular momentum from which they gather their mass. The evolution shows that more massive clusters experience hierarchical merging process, which increases stellar age spreads up to 2–3 Myr. Less massive clusters appear to grow by gathering nearby recently formed sinks, while more massive clusters with their large global gravitational potentials are increasing their mass growth from gas accretion.
Smilgys , R & Bonnell , I A 2017 , ' Formation of stellar clusters ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 472 , no. 4 , pp. 4982-4991 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2396
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Copyright © 2017, the Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2396
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