STARFORGE: Towards a comprehensive numerical model of star cluster formation and feedback

Michael Y. Grudić*, Dávid Guszejnov, Philip F. Hopkins, Stella S.R. Offner, Claude André Faucher-Giguère

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present STARFORGE (STAR FORmation in Gaseous Environments): a new numerical framework for 3D radiation magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of star formation that simultaneously follow the formation, accretion, evolution, and dynamics of individual stars in massive giant molecular clouds (GMCs), while accounting for stellar feedback, including jets, radiative heating and momentum, stellar winds, and supernovae. We use the gizmo code with the MFM mesh-free Lagrangian MHD method, augmented with new algorithms for gravity, time-stepping, sink particle formation and accretion, stellar dynamics, and feedback coupling. We survey a wide range of numerical parameters/prescriptions for sink formation and accretion and find very small variations in star formation history and the IMF (except for intentionally unphysical variations). Modules for mass-injecting feedback (winds, SNe, and jets) inject new gas elements on the fly, eliminating the lack of resolution in diffuse feedback cavities otherwise inherent in Lagrangian methods. The treatment of radiation uses GIZMO's radiative transfer solver to track five frequency bands (IR, optical, NUV, FUV, ionizing), coupling direct stellar emission and dust emission with gas heating and radiation pressure terms. We demonstrate accurate solutions for SNe, winds, and radiation in problems with known similarity solutions, and show that our jet module is robust to resolution and numerical details, and agrees well with previous AMR simulations. STARFORGE can scale up to massive (>105 M⊙) GMCs on current supercomputers while predicting the stellar (≥0.1 M⊙) range of the IMF, permitting simulations of both high- and low-mass cluster formation in a wide range of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2199-2231
Number of pages33
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume506
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Keywords

  • ISM: general
  • MHD
  • Methods: numerical
  • Radiative transfer
  • Stars: formation
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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