Ionizing feedback from massive stars in massive clusters - III. Disruption of partially unbound clouds

B. Ercolano, I.~A. Bonnell, James Dale

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91 Citations (Scopus)


We extend our previous smoothed particle hydrodynamics parameter study of the effects of photoionization from O-stars on star-forming clouds to include initially unbound clouds. We generate a set of model clouds in the mass range 104–106 M⊙ with initial virial ratios Ekin/Epot = 2.3, allow them to form stars and study the impact of the photoionizing radiation produced by the massive stars. We find that, on the 3 Myr time-scale before supernovae are expected to begin detonating, the fraction of mass expelled by ionizing feedback is a very strong function of the cloud escape velocities. High-mass clouds are largely unaffected dynamically, while low-mass clouds have large fractions of their gas reserves expelled on this time-scale. However, the fractions of stellar mass unbound are modest and significant portions of the unbound stars are so only because the clouds themselves are initially partially unbound. We find that ionization is much more able to create well-cleared bubbles in the unbound clouds, owing to their intrinsic expansion, but that the presence of such bubbles does not necessarily indicate that a given cloud has been strongly influenced by feedback. We also find, in common with the bound clouds from our earlier work, that many of the systems simulated here are highly porous to photons and supernova ejecta, and that most of them will likely survive their first supernova explosions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-246
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2013


  • stars: formation


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