Protostellar collapse with various metallicities

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254 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal and chemical evolution of gravitationally collapsing protostellar clouds is investigated, focusing attention on their dependence on metallicity. Calculations are carried out for a range of metallicities spanning the local interstellar value to zero. During the time when clouds are transparent to continuous radiation, the temperatures are higher for those with lower metallicity, reflecting lower radiative ability. However, once the clouds become opaque, in the course of the adiabatic contraction of the transient cores, their evolutionary trajectories in the density-temperature plane converge to a unique curve that is determined by only physical constants. The trajectories coincide with each other thereafter. Consequently, the size of the stellar core at the formation is the same regardless of the gas composition of the parent cloud.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-824
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 May 10


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules
  • Molecular processes
  • Stars: Population II
  • Stars: formation


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