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Radiation-Hydrodynamic Simulations of Massive Star Formation with Protostellar Outflows

By Andrew J. Cunningham, Richard I. Klein, Mark R. Krumholz and Christopher F. McKee

Abstract

We report the results of a series of AMR radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of the collapse of massive star forming clouds using the ORION code. These simulations are the first to include the feedback effects protostellar outflows, as well as protostellar radiative heating and radiation pressure exerted on the infalling, dusty gas. We find that that outflows evacuate polar cavities of reduced optical depth through the ambient core. These enhance the radiative flux in the poleward direction so that it is 1.7 to 15 times larger than that in the midplane. As a result the radiative heating and outward radiation force exerted on the protostellar disk and infalling cloud gas in the equatorial direction are greatly diminished. The simultaneously reduces the Eddington radiation pressure barrier to high-mass star formation and increases the minimum threshold surface density for radiative heating to suppress fragmentation compared to models that do not include outflows. The strength of both these effects depends on the initial core surface density. Lower surface density cores have longer free-fall times and thus massive stars formed within them undergo more Kelvin contraction as the core collapses, leading to more powerful outflows. Furthermore, in lower surface density clouds the ratio of the time required for the outflow to break out of the core to the core free-fall time is smaller, so that these clouds are consequently influenced by outflows at earlier stages of collapse. As a result, outflow effects are strongest in low surface density cores and weakest in high surface density one. We also find that radiation focusing in the direction of outflow cavities is sufficient to prevent the formation of radiation pressure-supported circumstellar gas bubbles, in contrast to models which neglect protostellar outflow feedback.Comment: Accepted to Ap

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X/740/2/107
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1104.1218
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