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Merging time-scales of stellar subclumps in young star-forming regions

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posted on 24.10.2012, 09:21 by M. Fellhauer, M. I. Wilkinson, P. Kroupa
Recent observations and hydrodynamical simulations of star formation inside a giant molecular cloud have revealed that, within a star-forming region, stars do not form evenly distributed throughout this region, but rather in small subclumps. It is generally believed that these subclumps merge and form a young star cluster. The time-scale of this merging process is crucial for the evolution and the possible survival of the final star cluster. The key issue is whether this merging process happens faster than the time needed to remove the residual gas of the cloud. A merging time-scale shorter than the gas-removal time would enhance the survival chances of the resulting star cluster. In this paper, we show by means of numerical simulations that the time-scale of the merging is indeed very fast. Depending on the details of the initial subclump distribution, the merging may occur before the gas is expelled from the newly formed cluster via either supernovae or the winds from massive stars. Our simulations further show that the resulting merger objects have a higher effective star formation efficiency than the overall star-forming region and confirm the results that mass-segregated subclumps form mass-segregated merger objects.

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Citation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2009, 397 (2), pp. 954-962

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Copyright date

2009

Available date

24/10/2012

Publisher version

http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/397/2/954

Language

en

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