AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 112. The ISM: Clouds and Regions
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[112.17] Simulations of HII Regions in M51--Constraints on Stimulated vs. Unstimulated Cluster Formation

S. A. Corder, N. Z. Scoville (California Institute of Technology, Department of Astronomy)

Using the inferred star formation rate and molecular gas density observed in M51 by Scoville et al. (2001), we have simulated the formation and evolution of a population of HII regions. The molecular mass observed was distributed in a population of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) based on the Galactic size distribution obtained by Sanders, Scoville, & Solomon (1984). OB star clusters were formed randomly, proportional to the local density, within the GMCs. Alternatively, the OB star cluster formation was stimulated in a shell about a given evolving HII region (e.g. Elmegreen & Lada 1977). The initial Lyman continuum output from the star clusters was calculated assuming a scaled, saturated initial mass function. The luminosity and size distributions of the sample are explored and compared to the observed distributions in M51 in order to provide constraints on the formation scenario of OB stars--random or stimulated.

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