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An explanation for the unusual IMF in Taurus

Goodwin, S. P., Whitworth, Anthony Peter and Ward-Thompson, Derek 2004. An explanation for the unusual IMF in Taurus. Astronomy and Astrophysics 419 (2) , pp. 543-547. 10.1051/0004-6361:20035802

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In comparison with other well studied star formation regions, Taurus is unusual in several respects. (i) Its stellar initial mass function (IMF) peaks at relatively high mass ( $\sim $ $0.8~ M_\odot$), but contains very few stars much more massive than $1 ~M_\odot$, and is relatively deficient in brown dwarfs. (ii) It has a higher binary fraction, particularly at large separations. (iii) Its core mass function is strongly peaked at a few $M_\odot$, and the cores have extended envelopes and relatively low levels of turbulence. We present here the results of an ensemble of hydrodynamic simulations which suggest that the unusual stellar IMF in Taurus is a direct consequence of the unusual properties of the cores there. By following the collapse and fragmentation of cores having properties typical of Taurus, we find that roughly 50% of the objects formed in a core, predominantly the low-mass ones, are ejected from the core to form a population of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with a flat mass function. The remaining objects form multiple systems within the core, accreting until their masses approach $1 ~M_\odot$; this produces a population of intermediate-mass stars whose mass function peaks at $\sim $ $0.8~ M_\odot$. Together these two populations reproduce the IMF in Taurus very well. This demonstrates, for the first time, a direct causal link between the core mass function and the stellar IMF in a star formation region.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: stars: formation; ISM: clouds; ISM: structure; methods: numerical
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 17/04/2014)
Publisher: EDP sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:01

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