Star formation in Galactic flows
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We investigate the triggering of star formation in clouds that form in Galactic scale flows as the interstellar medium passes through spiral shocks. We use the Lagrangian nature of smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations to trace how the star-forming gas is gathered into self-gravitating cores that collapse to form stars. Large-scale flows that arise due to Galactic dynamics create shocks of the order of 30 km s−1 that compress the gas and form dense clouds (n > several × 102 cm−3) in which self-gravity becomes relevant. These large-scale flows are necessary for creating the dense physical conditions for gravitational collapse and star formation. Local gravitational collapse requires densities in excess of n > 103 cm−3 which occur on size scales of ≈1 pc for low-mass star-forming regions (M < 100 M⊙), and up to sizes approaching 10 pc for higher mass regions (M > 103 M⊙). Star formation in the 250 pc region lasts throughout the 5 Myr time-scale of the simulation with a star formation rate of ≈10−1 M⊙ yr−1 kpc−2. In the absence of feedback, the efficiency of the star formation per free-fall time varies from our assumed 100 per cent at our sink accretion radius to values of <10−3 at low densities.
Smilgys , R & Bonnell , I A 2016 , ' Star formation in Galactic flows ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 459 , no. 2 , pp. 1985-1992 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw791
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw791