GMC Collisions as Triggers of Star Formation. III. Density and Magnetically Regulated Star Formation [GA]

We study giant molecular cloud (GMC) collisions and their ability to trigger star cluster formation. We further develop our three dimensional magnetized, turbulent, colliding GMC simulations by implementing star formation sub-grid models. Two such models are explored: (1) “Density-Regulated,” i.e., fixed efficiency per free-fall time above a set density threshold; (2) “Magnetically-Regulated,” i.e., fixed efficiency per free-fall time in regions that are magnetically supercritical. Variations of parameters associated with these models are also explored. In the non-colliding simulations, the overall level of star formation is sensitive to model parameter choices that relate to effective density thresholds. In the GMC collision simulations, the final star formation rates and efficiencies are relatively independent of these parameters. Between non-colliding and colliding cases, we compare the morphologies of the resulting star clusters, properties of star-forming gas, time evolution of the star formation rate (SFR), spatial clustering of the stars, and resulting kinematics of the stars in comparison to the natal gas. We find that typical collisions, by creating larger amounts of dense gas, trigger earlier and enhanced star formation, resulting in 10 times higher SFRs and efficiencies. The star clusters formed from GMC collisions show greater spatial sub-structure and more disturbed kinematics.

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B. Wu, J. Tan, D. Christie, et. al.
Tue, 28 Feb 17

Comments: 22 pages, 10 figures, Submitted to ApJ, comments welcome