High-entropy polar regions around the first protostars

Matthew J. Turk, Michael L. Norman, Tom Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on simulations of the formation of the first stars in the universe, wherewe identify regions of hot atomic gas (fH2 < 10-6) at densities above 10-14 g cm-3, heated to temperatures ranging between 3000 and 8000 K.Within this temperature range atomic hydrogen is unable to cool effectively.We describe the kinetic and thermal characteristics of these regions and investigate their origin. We find that these regions, while small in total mass fraction of the cloud, may be dynamically important over the accretion timescale for the central clump in the cloud, particularly as a chemical, rather than a radiative, mechanism for clearing the polar regions of the accretion disk of material and terminating accretion along these directions. These inherently three-dimensional effects stress the need for multi-dimensional calculations of protostellar accretion for reliable predictions of the masses of the very first stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L140-L144
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: formation
  • H II regions
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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