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Dynamical evolution of star-forming regions

Wright, Nicholas J.

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Abstract

We model the dynamical evolution of star-forming regions with a wide range of initial properties. We follow the evolution of the regions’ substructure using the Q-parameter, we search for dynamical mass segregation using the ?MSR technique, and we also quantify the evolution of local density around stars as a function of mass using the SLDR method. The amount of dynamical mass segregation measured by ?MSR is generally only significant for subvirial and virialized, substructured regions – which usually evolve to form bound clusters. The SLDR method shows that massive stars attain higher local densities than the median value in all regions, even those that are supervirial and evolve to form (unbound) associations. We also introduce the Q-SLDR plot, which describes the evolution of spatial structure as a function of mass-weighted local density in a star-forming region. Initially dense (>1000 stars?pc-2), bound regions always have Q>1,SLDR>2 after 5?Myr, whereas dense unbound regions always have Q<1,SLDR>2 after 5?Myr. Less dense regions (<100 stars?pc-2) do not usually exhibit SLDR > 2 values, and if relatively high local density around massive stars arises purely from dynamics, then the Q-SLDR plot can be used to estimate the initial density of a star-forming region.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 14, 2013
Publication Date Dec 13, 2013
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher Oxford University Press
Volume 438
Issue 1
Pages 620-638
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2231
Keywords methods, numerical, stars, formation, open clusters and associations, general
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2231

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