Volume 573, January 2015
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||07 January 2015|
Photoionising feedback and the star formation rates in galaxies
1 SUPA, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS, UK
2 Excellence Cluster “Universe”, Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
Received: 10 July 2013
Accepted: 11 October 2014
Aims. We investigate the effects of ionising photons on accretion and stellar mass growth in a young star forming region, using a Monte Carlo radiation transfer code coupled to a smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulation.
Methods. We introduce the framework with which we correct stellar cluster masses for the effects of photoionising (PI) feedback and compare to the results of a full ionisation hydrodynamics code.
Results. We present results of our simulations of star formation in the spiral arm of a disk galaxy, including the effects of photoionising radiation from high mass stars. We find that PI feedback reduces the total mass accreted onto stellar clusters by ≈23% over the course of the simulation and reduces the number of high mass clusters, as well as the maximum mass attained by a stellar cluster. Mean star formation rates (SFRs) drop from SFRcontrol = 4.2 × 10-2 M⊙ yr-1 to SFRMCPI = 3.2 × 10-2 M⊙ yr-1 after the inclusion of PI feedback with a final instantaneous SFR reduction of 62%. The overall cluster mass distribution appears to be affected little by PI feedback.
Conclusions. We compare our results to the observed extra-galactic Schmidt-Kennicutt relation and the observed properties of local star forming regions in the Milky Way and find that internal photoionising (PI) feedback is unlikely to reduce SFRs by more than a factor of ≈2 and thus may play only a minor role in regulating star formation.
Key words: HII regions / radiative transfer / stars: massive
© ESO, 2015
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