skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "McKee, Christopher F."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Strong lensing offers a precious opportunity for studying the formation and early evolution of super star clusters that are rare in our cosmic backyard. The Sunburst Arc, a lensed Cosmic Noon galaxy, hosts a young super star cluster with escaping Lyman continuum radiation. Analyzing archival Hubble Space Telescope images and emission line data from Very Large Telescope/MUSE and X-shooter, we construct a physical model for the cluster and its surrounding photoionized nebula. We confirm that the cluster is ≲4 Myr old, is extremely massiveM∼ 107M, and yet has a central component as compact as several parsecs, and we find a gas-phase metallicityZ= (0.22 ± 0.03)Z. The cluster is surrounded by ≳105Mof dense clouds that have been pressurized toP∼ 109K cm−3by perhaps stellar radiation at within 10 pc. These should have large neutral columnsNHI> 1022.8cm−2to survive rapid ejection by radiation pressure. The clouds are likely dusty as they show gas-phase depletion of silicon, and may be conducive to secondary star formation ifNHI> 1024cm−2or if they sink farther toward the cluster center. Detecting strong [Niii]λλ1750,1752, we infer heavy nitrogen enrichmentlog(N/O)=0.210.11+0.10. This requires efficiently retaining ≳500Mof nitrogen in the high-pressure clouds from massive stars heavier than 60Mup to 4 Myr. We suggest a physical origin of the high-pressure clouds from partial or complete condensation of slow massive star ejecta, which may have an important implication for the puzzle of multiple stellar populations in globular clusters.

     
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT

    Beginning with cosmological initial conditions at z = 100, we simulate the effects of magnetic fields on the formation of Population III stars and compare our results with the predictions of Paper I. We use gadget-2 to follow the evolution of the system while the field is weak. We introduce a new method for treating kinematic fields by tracking the evolution of the deformation tensor. The growth rate in this stage of the simulation is lower than expected for diffuse astrophysical plasmas, which have a very low resistivity (high magnetic Prandtl number); we attribute this to the large numerical resistivity in simulations, corresponding to a magnetic Prandtl number of order unity. When the magnetic field begins to be dynamically significant in the core of the minihalo at z = 27, we map it on to a uniform grid and follow the evolution in an adaptive mesh refinement, MHD simulation in orion2. The non-linear evolution of the field in the orion2 simulation violates flux-freezing and is consistent with the theory proposed by Xu & Lazarian. The fields approach equipartition with kinetic energy at densities ∼1010–1012 cm−3. When the same calculation is carried out in orion2 with no magnetic fields, several protostars form, ranging in mass from ∼1 to 30 M⊙; with magnetic fields, only a single ∼30 M⊙ protostar forms by the end of the simulation. Magnetic fields thus suppress the formation of low-mass Pop III stars, yielding a top-heavy Pop III initial mass function and contributing to the absence of observed Pop III stars.

     
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT

    Optical and infrared polarization mapping and recent Planck observations of the filametary cloud L1495 in Taurus show that the large-scale magnetic field is approximately perpendicular to the long axis of the cloud. We use the HAWC + polarimeter on SOFIA to probe the complex magnetic field in the B211 part of the cloud. Our results reveal a dispersion of polarization angles of 36°, about five times that measured on a larger scale by Planck. Applying the Davis–Chandrasekhar–Fermi (DCF) method with velocity information obtained from Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique 30 m C18O(1-0) observations, we find two distinct sub-regions with magnetic field strengths differing by more than a factor 3. The quieter sub-region is magnetically critical and sub-Alfv$\acute{\rm e}$nic; the field is comparable to the average field measured in molecular clumps based on Zeeman observations. The more chaotic, super-Alfv$\acute{\rm e}$nic sub-region shows at least three velocity components, indicating interaction among multiple substructures. Its field is much less than the average Zeeman field in molecular clumps, suggesting that the DCF value of the field there may be an underestimate. Numerical simulation of filamentary cloud formation shows that filamentary substructures can strongly perturb the magnetic field. DCF and true field values in the simulation are compared. Pre-stellar cores are observed in B211 and are seen in our simulation. The appendices give a derivation of the standard DCF method that allows for a dispersion in polarization angles that is not small, present an alternate derivation of the structure function version of the DCF method, and treat fragmentation of filaments.

     
    more » « less