Dark-matter halo mergers as a fertile environment for low-mass Population III star formation

S. Bovino, M. A. Latif, T. Grassi, D. R.G. Schleicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


While Population III (Pop III) stars are typically thought to be massive, pathways towards lower mass Pop III stars may exist when the cooling of the gas is particularly enhanced. A possible route is enhanced HD cooling during the merging of dark-matter haloes. The mergers can lead to a high ionization degree catalysing the formation of HD molecules and may cool the gas down to the cosmic microwave background temperature. In this paper, we investigate the merging of mini-haloes with masses of a few 105Mȯ and explore the feasibility of this scenario. We have performed three-dimensional cosmological hydrodynamics calculations with the ENZO code, solving the thermal and chemical evolution of the gas by employing the astrochemistry package KROME. Our results show that the HD abundance is increased by two orders of magnitude compared to the no-merging case and the halo cools down to ~60K triggering fragmentation. Based on Jeans estimates, the expected stellar masses are about 10Mȯ. Our findings show that the merging scenario is a potential pathway for the formation of low-mass stars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2181-2187
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrochemistry
  • Cosmology: Theory
  • ISM: Molecules
  • Methods: Numerical
  • Stars: Population III

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Dark-matter halo mergers as a fertile environment for low-mass Population III star formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this