Primordial star formation under the influence of far ultraviolet radiation: 1540 cosmological haloes and the stellar mass distribution

S. Hirano, T. Hosokawa, N. Yoshida, K. Omukai, H. W. Yorke

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214 Citations (Scopus)


We perform a large set of cosmological simulations of early structure formation and follow the formation and evolution of 1540 star-forming gas clouds to derive the mass distribution of primordial stars. The star formation in our cosmological simulations is characterized by two distinct populations, the so-called Population III.1 stars and primordial stars formed under the influence of far-ultraviolet (FUV) radiation (Population III.2D stars). In this work, we determine the stellar masses by using the dependences on the physical properties of star-forming cloud and/or the external photodissociating intensity from nearby primordial stars, which are derived from the results of 2D radiation hydrodynamic simulations of protostellar feedback. The characteristic mass of the Pop III stars is found to be a few hundred solarmasses at z ~25, and it gradually shifts to lower masses with decreasing redshift. At high redshifts z > 20, about half of the star-forming gas clouds are exposed to intense FUV radiation and thus give birth to massive Pop III.2D stars. However, the local FUV radiation by nearby Pop III stars becomes weaker at lower redshifts, when typical Pop III stars have smaller masses and the mean physical separation between the stars becomes large owing to cosmic expansion. Therefore, at z < 20, a large fraction of the primordial gas clouds host Pop III.1 stars. At z ≲ 15, the Pop III.1 stars are formed in relatively cool gas clouds due to efficient radiative cooling by H2 and HD molecules; such stars have masses of a few × 10M. Since the stellar evolution and the final fate are determined by the stellar mass, Pop III stars formed at different epochs play different roles in the early universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-587
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 21


  • Dark ages
  • First stars
  • Mass function
  • Methods: numerical
  • Reionization
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: luminosity function
  • Stars: Population III


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