Galactic-scale star formation by gravitational instability

Mordecai Mark Mac Low, Yuexing Cindy Li, Ralf S. Klessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present numerical experiments that demonstrate that the nonlinear development of the Toomre instability in disks of isothermal gas, stars, and dark matter reproduces the observed Schmidt Law for star formation. The rate of gas collapse depends exponentially on the (minimum) value of the Toomre parameter in the disk. We demonstrate that spurious fragmentation occurs in the absence of sufficient resolution in our SPH model. Our models also reproduce observed star formation thresholds in disk galaxies. We finally briefly discuss the application of our models to the study of globular cluster formation in merging galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Volume2
Issue numberS237
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

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gravitational instability
star formation
disk galaxies
globular clusters
gases
gas
dark matter
fragmentation
galaxies
stars
thresholds
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Mac Low, Mordecai Mark ; Li, Yuexing Cindy ; Klessen, Ralf S. / Galactic-scale star formation by gravitational instability. In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 2006 ; Vol. 2, No. S237. pp. 336-343.
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Galactic-scale star formation by gravitational instability. / Mac Low, Mordecai Mark; Li, Yuexing Cindy; Klessen, Ralf S.

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, Vol. 2, No. S237, 01.08.2006, p. 336-343.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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