Journal Article Formation of globular clusters induced by external ultraviolet radiation – II. Three-dimensional radiation hydrodynamics simulations

Abe, Makito  ,  Umemura, Masayuki  ,  Hasegawa, Kenji

463 ( 3 )  , pp.2849 - 2863 , 2016-12 , Oxford University Press
We explore the possibility of the formation of globular clusters (GCs) under ultraviolet (UV) background radiation. One-dimensional spherical symmetric radiation hydrodynamics (RHD) simulations by Hasegawa et al. have demonstrated that the collapse of low-mass (106–7 M⊙) gas clouds exposed to intense UV radiation can lead to the formation of compact star clusters like GCs if gas clouds contract with supersonic infall velocities. However, three-dimensional effects, such as the anisotropy of background radiation and the inhomogeneity in gas clouds, have not been studied so far. In this paper, we perform three-dimensional RHD simulations in a semicosmological context, and reconsider the formation of compact star clusters in strong UV radiation fields. As a result, we find that although anisotropic radiation fields bring an elongated shadow of neutral gas, almost spherical compact star clusters can be procreated from a ‘supersonic infall’ cloud, since photodissociating radiation suppresses the formation of hydrogen molecules in the shadowed regions and the regions are compressed by UV heated ambient gas. The properties of resultant star clusters match those of GCs. On the other hand, in weak UV radiation fields, dark-matter-dominated star clusters with low stellar density form due to the self-shielding effect as well as the positive feedback by ionizing photons. Thus, we conclude that the ‘supersonic infall’ under a strong UV background is a potential mechanism to form GCs.

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