NAM2012 - Full poster details
The formation and fragmentation of discs around primordial (Pop III) protostars
Author: Paul Clark
Co-Authors: Simon Glover (ITA, Universität Heidelberg); Rowan Smith (ITA); Thomas Greif (MPE, Garching); Ralf Klessen (ITA); Volker Bromm (University of Texas).
Session: STA2: Binary Stars: Duplicity is Everywhere
Displayed during: Poster Session B
The very first stars to form in the universe heralded an end to the cosmic dark ages and introduced new physical processes that shaped early cosmic evolution. Until now, it was thought that these stars lived short, solitary lives, with only one extremely massive star, or possibly a very wide binary system, forming in each dark matter minihalo. Here we describe numerical simulations that show that these stars were, to the contrary, often members of tight multiple systems. Our results show that the discs that formed around the first young stars were unstable to gravitational fragmentation, producing small binary and higher-order systems that had separations as small as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The first stars could thus have given rise to high redshift gamma-ray bursts and X-ray binaries, which may be detectable with ongoing and planned facilities on the ground and in space.