SCYON Abstract

Received on December 13 2000

The Genesis of Super Star Clusters as Self-Gravitating HII Regions

AuthorsJonathan C. Tan1, Christopher F. McKee1,2
Affiliation1 Dept. of Astronomy, UC Berkeley
2 Dept. of Physics, UC Berkeley
Submitted toProceedings of "Starbursts: Near and Far", Ringberg Castle, Germany, 10-15 September 2000


We examine the effects of ionization, radiation pressure and main sequence winds from massive stars on self-gravitating, clumpy molecular clouds, thereby modeling the formation and pre-supernova feedback of massive star clusters. We find the process of ``turbulent mass loading'' is effective in confining HII regions. Extrapolating typical Galactic high-mass star forming regions to greater initial gas cloud masses and assuming steady star formation rates, we determine the timescales for cloud disruption. We find that a dense n_c ~ 2 x 105 cm-3 cloud with initial mass M_c ~ 4 x 105 Msun is able to form ~2 x 105 Msun of stars (50% efficiency) before feedback disperses the gas after ~3 Myr. This mass and age are typical of young, optically visible super star clusters (SSCs). The high efficiency permits the creation of a bound stellar system.