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Star formation in X-ray cluster cooling flows
White, Raymond E., III; Sarazin, Craig L.
AA(Virginia, University, Charlottesville; Cambridge University, England), AB(Virginia, University, Charlottesville; Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Boulder, CO)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 318, July 15, 1987, p. 612-620. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cooling, Cooling Flows (Astrophysics), Galactic Evolution, Magnetohydrodynamic Flow, Star Clusters, Star Formation, X Ray Sources, Galactic Clusters, Intergalactic Media, Mass Distribution, Thermal Instability
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The basic equations for X-ray cluster cooling flows, including the effects of star formation, are derived. It is confirmed that cooling flows are thermally unstable, and it is found that the fastest-growing linear perturbations in the flow are radial, comoving, and isobaric. A local approximation for the star formation rate is developed which allows analytic solutions to be found for both isobaric and gravity-dominated cooling flows. These solutions are used to show how star formation reduces the gas density, thereby lowering the cooling rate, which raises the gas temperature relative to the non-star-forming case. The analytic solutions are also used to estimate the spatial distribution of newly formed stars. It is found that star formation must proceed at a nearly maximal rate if isothermal mass profiles are to result.

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