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  1. Abstract

    The driving of turbulence in galaxies is deeply connected with the physics of feedback, star formation, outflows, accretion, and radial transport in disks. The velocity dispersion of gas in galaxies therefore offers a promising observational window into these processes. However, the relative importance of each of these mechanisms remains controversial. In this work we revisit the possibility that turbulence on galactic scales is driven by the direct impact of accreting gaseous material on the disk. We measure this effect in a disk-like star-forming galaxy in IllustrisTNG, using the high-resolution cosmological magnetohydrodynamical simulation TNG50. We employ Lagrangian tracer particles with a high time cadence of only a few million years to identify accretion and other events. The energies of particles are measured by stacking the events in bins of time around the event. The average effect of each event is measured by fitting explicit models for the kinetic and turbulent energies as a function of time. These measurements are corroborated by cross-correlating the turbulent energy with other time series and searching for signals of causality, i.e., asymmetries across zero time lag. We find that accretion contributes to the large-scale turbulent kinetic energy even if it does not dominate in thismore »∼5 × 109Mstellar mass galaxy. Extrapolating this finding to a range of galaxy masses, we find that there are regimes where energy from direct accretion may dominate the turbulent energy budget, particularly in disk outskirts, galaxies less massive than the Milky Way, and at redshift ∼2.

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  2. ABSTRACT In the centres of the Milky Way and M83, the global environmental properties thought to control star formation are very similar. However, M83’s nuclear star formation rate (SFR), as estimated by synchrotron and H α emission, is an order of magnitude higher than the Milky Way’s. To understand the origin of this difference we use ALMA observations of HCN (1 − 0) and HCO+ (1 − 0) to trace the dense gas at the size scale of individual molecular clouds (0.54 arcsec, 12 pc) in the inner ∼500 pc of M83, and compare this to gas clouds at similar resolution and galactocentric radius in the Milky Way. We find that both the overall gas distribution and the properties of individual clouds are very similar in the two galaxies, and that a common mechanism may be responsible for instigating star formation in both circumnuclear rings. Given the considerable similarity in gas properties, the most likely explanation for the order of magnitude difference in SFR is time variability, with the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) currently being at a more quiescent phase of its star formation cycle. We show M83’s SFR must have been an order of magnitude higher 5–7 Myr ago. M83’s ‘starburst’ phase was highly localized, bothmore »spatially and temporally, greatly increasing the feedback efficiency and ability to drive galactic-scale outflows. This highly dynamic nature of star formation and feedback cycles in galaxy centres means (i) modelling and interpreting observations must avoid averaging over large spatial areas or time-scales, and (ii) understanding the multiscale processes controlling these cycles requires comparing snapshots of a statistical sample of galaxies in different evolutionary stages.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We use the angular two-point correlation function (TPCF) to investigate the hierarchical distribution of young star clusters in 12 local (3–18 Mpc) star-forming galaxies using star cluster catalogs obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) as part of the Treasury Program Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey. The sample spans a range of different morphological types, allowing us to infer how the physical properties of the galaxy affect the spatial distribution of the clusters. We also prepare a range of physically motivated toy models to compare with and interpret the observed features in the TPCFs. We find that, conforming to earlier studies, young clusters ($T \lesssim 10\, \mathrm{Myr}$) have power-law TPCFs that are characteristic of fractal distributions with a fractal dimension D2, and this scale-free nature extends out to a maximum scale lcorr beyond which the distribution becomes Poissonian. However, lcorr, and D2 vary significantly across the sample, and are correlated with a number of host galaxy physical properties, suggesting that there are physical differences in the underlying star cluster distributions. We also find that hierarchical structuring weakens with age, evidenced by flatter TPCFs for older clusters ($T \gtrsim 10\, \mathrm{Myr}$), that eventually converges to the residual correlation expected from amore »completely random large-scale radial distribution of clusters in the galaxy in $\sim 100 \, \mathrm{Myr}$. Our study demonstrates that the hierarchical distribution of star clusters evolves with age, and is strongly dependent on the properties of the host galaxy environment.« less

    G0.253+0.016, commonly referred to as ‘the Brick’ and located within the Central Molecular Zone, is one of the densest (≈103–4 cm−3) molecular clouds in the Galaxy to lack signatures of widespread star formation. We set out to constrain the origins of an arc-shaped molecular line emission feature located within the cloud. We determine that the arc, centred on $\lbrace l_{0},b_{0}\rbrace =\lbrace 0{_{.}^{\circ}} 248,\, 0{_{.}^{\circ}} 018\rbrace$, has a radius of 1.3 pc and kinematics indicative of the presence of a shell expanding at $5.2^{+2.7}_{-1.9}$ $\mathrm{\, km\, s}^{-1}$. Extended radio continuum emission fills the arc cavity and recombination line emission peaks at a similar velocity to the arc, implying that the molecular gas and ionized gas are physically related. The inferred Lyman continuum photon rate is NLyC = 1046.0–1047.9 photons s−1, consistent with a star of spectral type B1-O8.5, corresponding to a mass of ≈12–20 M⊙. We explore two scenarios for the origin of the arc: (i) a partial shell swept up by the wind of an interloper high-mass star and (ii) a partial shell swept up by stellar feedback resulting from in situ star formation. We favour the latter scenario, finding reasonable (factor of a few) agreement between its morphology, dynamics, and energetics and those predicted formore »an expanding bubble driven by the wind from a high-mass star. The immediate implication is that G0.253+0.016 may not be as quiescent as is commonly accepted. We speculate that the cloud may have produced a ≲103 M⊙ star cluster ≳0.4 Myr ago, and demonstrate that the high-extinction and stellar crowding observed towards G0.253+0.016 may help to obscure such a star cluster from detection.

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    Using a 1D Lagrangian code specifically designed to assess the impact of multiple, time-resolved supernovae (SNe) from a single-star cluster on the surrounding medium, we test three commonly used feedback recipes: delayed cooling (e.g. used in the gasoline-2 code), momentum-energy injection (a resolution-dependent transition between momentum-dominated feedback and energy-dominated feedback used, e.g. in the fire-2 code), and simultaneous energy injection (e.g. used in the EAGLE simulations). Our work provides an intermediary test for these recipes: we analyse a setting that is more complex than the simplified scenarios for which many were designed, but one more controlled than a full galactic simulation. In particular, we test how well these models reproduce the enhanced momentum efficiency seen for an 11 SN cluster simulated at high resolution (0.6 pc; a factor of 12 enhancement relative to the isolated SN case) when these subgrid recipes are implemented in low resolution (20 pc) runs. We find that: (1) the delayed cooling model performs well – resulting in 9 times the momentum efficiency of the fiducial isolated SN value – when SNe are clustered and 1051 erg are injected per SN, while clearly overpredicting the momentum efficiency in the single SN test case; (2) the momentum-energy model alwaysmore »achieves good results, with a factor of 5 boost in momentum efficiency; and (3) injecting the energy from all SNe simultaneously does little to prevent overcooling and greatly underproduces the momentum deposited by clustered SNe, resulting in a factor of 3 decrease in momentum efficiency on the average.

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