Massive stars in massive clusters - IV. Disruption of clouds by momentum-driven winds

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

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We examine the effect of momentum-driven OB-star stellar winds on a parameter space of simulated turbulent giant molecular clouds using smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations. By comparison with identical simulations in which ionizing radiation was included instead of winds, we show that momentum-driven winds are considerably less effective in disrupting their host clouds than are H ii regions. The wind bubbles produced are smaller and generally smoother than the corresponding ionization-driven bubbles. Winds are roughly as effective in destroying the very dense gas in which the O stars are embedded, and thus shutting down the main regions of star-forming activity in the model clouds. However, their influence falls off rapidly with distance from the sources, so they are not as good at sweeping up dense gas and triggering star formation further out in the clouds. As a result, their effect on the star formation rate and efficiency is generally more negative than that of ionization, if they exert any effect at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3430-3445
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date28 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2013


  • stars: formation


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