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Galactic star formation in parsec-scale resolution simulations

  • Leila C. Powell (a1), Frederic Bournaud (a1), Damien Chapon (a1), Julien Devriendt (a2), Adrianne Slyz (a2) and Romain Teyssier (a1) (a3)...

Abstract

The interstellar medium (ISM) in galaxies is multiphase and cloudy, with stars forming in the very dense, cold gas found in Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). Simulating the evolution of an entire galaxy, however, is a computational problem which covers many orders of magnitude, so many simulations cannot reach densities high enough or temperatures low enough to resolve this multiphase nature. Therefore, the formation of GMCs is not captured and the resulting gas distribution is smooth, contrary to observations. We investigate how star formation (SF) proceeds in simulated galaxies when we obtain parsec-scale resolution and more successfully capture the multiphase ISM. Both major mergers and the accretion of cold gas via filaments are dominant contributors to a galaxy's total stellar budget and we examine SF at high resolution in both of these contexts.

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References

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Agertz, O., Teyssier, R., Moore, B., 2009, MNRAS, 397, L64
Birnboim, Y. & Dekel, A., 2003, MNRAS, 345, 349
Devriendt, J., Slyz, A., Powell, L., Pichon, C., Teyssier, R., 2010, IAU Symposium, 262, 248
Dubois, Y. & Teyssier, R., 2008, A&A, 477, 79
Haardt, F. & Madau, P., 1996, ApJ, 461, 20
Slyz, A., Devriendt, J., Powell, L., 2009, ASP conference series, Astronum-2009
Teyssier, R., 2002, A&A, 385, 337
Teyssier, R., Chapon, D., Bournaud, F., 2010, arXiv:1006.4757
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