On the origin of multiple populations during massive star cluster formation Academic Article uri icon

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  • We investigate the possibility that multiple populations in globular clusters arise as a natural by-product of massive star-cluster formation. We use 3D radiative hydrodynamics simulations for the formation of young massive clusters to track their chemical self-enrichment during their first 5 Myr. These clusters form embedded within filamentary Giant Molecular Clouds by a combination of gas accretion and rapid merging of protoclusters. Chemical enrichment is a dynamic process happening as the young cluster assembles, so that the original (1P) and enriched (2P) subpopulations of stars form almost simultaneously. Here we test two simple and opposite extremes for the injection of enriched material into the intracluster gas: we assume either continuous injection in a way that tracks the star formation rate; or sudden injection by a single instantaneous event. Using helium abundance as a proxy for the enrichment, we find that realistic multiple population features can be reproduced by injecting a total helium mass amounting to a few percent of the cluster's total mass. The differences in individual growth histories can lead to widely differing 1P/2P outcomes. These models suggest that dual or multiple populations can emerge rapidly in massive star clusters undergoing the typical mode of star cluster formation.


  • Howard, Corey S
  • Pudritz, Ralph E
  • Sills, Alison
  • Harris, William E

publication date

  • June 11, 2019