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How Very Massive Metal-Free Stars Start Cosmological ReionizationThe initial conditions and relevant physics for the formation of the earliest galaxies are well specified in the concordance cosmology. Using ab initio cosmological Eulerian adaptive mesh refinement radiation hydrodynamical calculations, we discuss how very massive stars start the process of cosmological reionization. The models include nonequilibrium primordial gas chemistry and cooling processes and accurate radiation transport in the case B approximation using adaptively ray-traced photon packages, retaining the time derivative in the transport equation. Supernova feedback is modeled by thermal explosions triggered at parsec scales. All calculations resolve the local Jeans length by at least 16 grid cells at all times and as such cover a spatial dynamic range of approx.10(exp 6). These first sources of reionization are highly intermittent and anisotropic and first photoionize the small-scale voids surrounding the halos they form in, rather than the dense filaments they are embedded in. As the merging objects form larger, dwarf-sized galaxies, the escape fraction of UV radiation decreases and the H II regions only break out on some sides of the galaxies, making them even more anisotropic. In three cases, SN blast waves induce star formation in overdense regions that were formed earlier from ionization front instabilities. These stars form tens of parsecs away from the center of their parent DM halo. Approximately five ionizing photons are needed per sustained ionization when star formation in 10(exp 6) stellar Mass halos is dominant in the calculation. As the halos become larger than approx.10(exp 7) Stellar Mass, the ionizing photon escape fraction decreases, which in turn increases the number of photons per ionization to 15-50, in calculations with stellar feedback only. Radiative feedback decreases clumping factors by 25% when compared to simulations without star formation and increases the average temperature of ionized gas to values between 3000 and 10,000 K.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Wise, John H. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Abel, Tom (Stanford Univ. Menlo Park, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2008
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 684
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits