Impact of galactic shear and stellar feedback on star formation
Laboratoire AIM, Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU/DAp – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot,
Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2 LERMA (UMR CNRS 8112), Ecole Normale Supérieure, 75231 Paris Cedex, France
3 Maison de la Simulation, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4 Zentrum Fur Astronomie der Universitat Heidelberg, Institut fur Theoretische Astrophysik, Albert-Ueberle-Strasse 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 8 August 2018
Context. Feedback processes and the galactic shear regulate star formation.
Aims. We investigate the effects of differential galactic rotation and stellar feedback on the interstellar medium (ISM) and on the star formation rate (SFR).
Methods. A numerical shearing box is used to perform three-dimensional simulations of a 1 kpc stratified cubic box of turbulent and self-gravitating interstellar medium (in a rotating frame) with supernovae and H II feedback. We vary the value of the velocity gradient induced by the shear and the initial value of the galactic magnetic field. Finally, the different star formation rates and the properties of the structures associated with this set of simulations are computed.
Results. We first confirm that the feedback has a strong limiting effect on star formation. The galactic shear has also a great influence: the higher the shear, the lower the SFR. Taking the value of the velocity gradient in the solar neighbourhood, the SFR is too high compared to the observed Kennicutt law, by a factor approximately three to six. This discrepancy can be solved by arguing that the relevant value of the shear is not the one in the solar neighbourhood, and that in reality the star formation efficiency within clusters is not 100%. Taking into account the fact that star-forming clouds generally lie in spiral arms where the shear can be substantially higher (as probed by galaxy-scale simulations), the SFR is now close to the observed one. Different numerical recipes have been tested for the sink particles, giving a numerical incertitude of a factor of about two on the SFR. Finally, we have also estimated the velocity dispersions in our dense clouds and found that they lie below the observed Larson law by a factor of about two.
Conclusions. In our simulations, magnetic field, shear, H II regions, and supernovae all contribute significantly to reduce the SFR. In this numerical setup with feedback from supernovae and H II regions and a relevant value of galactic shear, the SFRs are compatible with those observed, with a numerical incertitude factor of about two.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: magnetic fields / ISM: structure / stars: formation
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.