SCYON Abstract

Received on: 18 10 2023

Delayed Massive-Star Mechanical Feedback at Low Metallicity

Authors:M. C. Jecmen 1, M. S. Oe 1
Affiliations:(1) Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Accepted by: Astronomy & Astrophysics

The classical model of massive-star mechanical feedback is based on effects at solar metallicity (Zsun), yet feedback parameters are very different at low metallicity. Metal-poor stellar winds are much weaker, and more massive supernova progenitors likely collapse directly to black holes without exploding. Thus, for ~0.4 Zsun we find reductions in the total integrated mechanical energy and momentum of ~40% and 75%, respectively, compared to values classically expected at solar metallicity. But in particular, these changes effectively delay the onset of mechanical feedback until ages of ~10 Myr. Feedback from high-mass X-ray binaries could slightly increase mechanical luminosity between ages 5-10 Myr, but it is stochastic and unlikely to be significant on this timescale. Stellar dynamical mechanisms remove most massive stars from clusters well before 10 Myr, which would further promote this effect; this process is exacerbated by gas retention implied by weak feedback. Delayed mechanical feedback implies that radiation feedback therefore dominates at early ages, which is consistent with the observed absence of superwinds in some extreme starbursts. This scenario may lead to higher star-formation efficiencies, multiple stellar populations in clusters, and higher Lyman continuum escape. This could explain the giant star-forming complexes in metal-poor galaxies and the small sizes of OB superbubble shells relative to their inferred ages. It could also drive modest effects on galactic chemical evolution, including on oxygen abundances. Thus, delayed low-metallicity mechanical feedback may have broad implications, including for early cosmic epochs.

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