Volume 636, April 2020
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||06 April 2020|
The effect of the environment-dependent IMF on the formation and metallicities of stars over the cosmic history
Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2 Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik (HISKP), Universität Bonn, Nussallee 14–16, 53115 Bonn, Germany
3 Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Astronomical Institute, V Holešovičkách 2, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
4 Astronomical Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Fričova 298, 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
5 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
6 GRANTECAN, Cuesta de San Jose s/n, 38712 Breña Baja, La Palma, Spain
7 Institute for Astronomy, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
8 SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
Accepted: 22 February 2020
Recent observational and theoretical studies indicate that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) varies systematically with the environment (star formation rate – SFR, metallicity). Although the exact dependence of the IMF on those properties is likely to change with improving observational constraints, the reported trend in the shape of the IMF appears robust. We present the first study aiming to evaluate the effect of the IMF variations on the measured cosmic SFR density (SFRD) as a function of metallicity and redshift, fSFR(Z, z). We also study the expected number and metallicity of white dwarf, neutron star, and black hole progenitors under different IMF assumptions. Applying the empirically driven IMF variations described by the integrated galactic IMF (IGIMF) theory, we revise fSFR(Z, z) obtained in our previous study that assumed a universal IMF. We find a lower SFRD at high redshifts and a higher fraction of metal-poor stars being formed than previously determined. In the local Universe, our calculation applying the IGIMF theory suggests more white dwarf and neutron star progenitors in comparison with the universal IMF scenario, while the number of black hole progenitors remains unaffected.
Key words: galaxies: abundances / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: star formation / stars: abundances / stars: formation
© ESO 2020
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