The thermal and fragmentation properties of star forming clouds have important consequences on the corresponding characteristic stellar mass. The initial composition of the gas within these clouds is a record of the nucleosynthetic products of previous stellar generations. In this paper, we present a model for the evolution of star forming clouds enriched by metals and dust from the first supernovae (SNe), resulting from the explosions of metal-free progenitors with masses in the range 12-30Msolar and 140-260Msolar. Using a self-consistent approach, we show that: (i) metals depleted on to dust grains play a fundamental role, enabling fragmentation to solar or subsolar mass scales already at metallicities Zcr = 10-6Zsolar (ii) even at metallicities as high as 10-2Zsolar, metals diffused in the gas phase lead to fragment mass scales which are >~100Msolar (iii) C atoms are strongly depleted on to amorphous carbon grains and CO molecules so that CII plays a minor role in gas cooling, leaving OI as the main gas-phase cooling agent in low-metallicity clouds. These conclusions hold independently of the assumed SN progenitors and suggest that the onset of low-mass star formation is conditioned to the presence of dust in the parent clouds.

Fragmentation of star-forming clouds enriched with the first dust

FERRARA, ANDREA
2006

Abstract

The thermal and fragmentation properties of star forming clouds have important consequences on the corresponding characteristic stellar mass. The initial composition of the gas within these clouds is a record of the nucleosynthetic products of previous stellar generations. In this paper, we present a model for the evolution of star forming clouds enriched by metals and dust from the first supernovae (SNe), resulting from the explosions of metal-free progenitors with masses in the range 12-30Msolar and 140-260Msolar. Using a self-consistent approach, we show that: (i) metals depleted on to dust grains play a fundamental role, enabling fragmentation to solar or subsolar mass scales already at metallicities Zcr = 10-6Zsolar (ii) even at metallicities as high as 10-2Zsolar, metals diffused in the gas phase lead to fragment mass scales which are >~100Msolar (iii) C atoms are strongly depleted on to amorphous carbon grains and CO molecules so that CII plays a minor role in gas cooling, leaving OI as the main gas-phase cooling agent in low-metallicity clouds. These conclusions hold independently of the assumed SN progenitors and suggest that the onset of low-mass star formation is conditioned to the presence of dust in the parent clouds.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/5897
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