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When Do Stars Form? Simulating Dynamic Star Formation Efficiencies in Giant Molecular Clouds

8 Nov 2019, 20:28 UTC
When Do Stars Form? Simulating Dynamic Star Formation Efficiencies in Giant Molecular Clouds
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Title: On the nature of variations in the measured star formation efficiency of molecular cloudsAuthors: Michael Y. Grudic, Philip F. Hopkins, Eve J. Lee, Norman Murray, Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere, and L. Clifton JohnsonFirst Author’s Institution: TAPIR, Mailcode 350-17, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USAStatus: Published in MNRAS; open access on arxivTakeaway: Observations of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) yield large scatters in star formation efficiencies. Simulations in this work show that much of this scatter may stem from the fact we observe GMCs at different evolutionary stages driven by stellar feedback.
Stars are known to form within Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs), huge complexes of gas and dust that range in mass from roughly one thousand to ten million times the mass of our sun. These regions are much denser than their surrounding environment, causing clumps of mass within them to collapse and form stars. However, this is actually a very complicated process with many compounding factors. One of the primary influences on the star formation process is stellar feedback, a broad category that refers to all the ways that existing stars affect their environment. This includes pressure from radiation emitted by stars, deposition of mass and energy from stellar ...

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