The Effects of Radiative Feedback and Supernova-induced Turbulence on Early Galaxies

Richard Sarmento, Evan Scannapieco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The recently launched James Webb Space Telescope promises unparalleled advances in our understanding of the first stars and galaxies, but realizing this potential requires cosmological simulations that capture the key physical processes that affected these objects. Here, we show that radiative transfer and subgrid turbulent mixing are two such processes. By comparing simulations with and without radiative transfer but with exactly the same physical parameters and subgrid turbulent mixing model, we show that tracking radiative transfer suppresses the Population III star formation density by a factor ≈4. In both simulations, ≳90% of Population III stars are found in the unresolved pristine regions tracked by our subgrid model, which does a better job at modeling the regions surrounding proto-galaxy cores where metals from supernovae take tens of megayears to mix thoroughly. At the same time, radiative transfer suppresses Population III star formation, via the development of ionized bubbles that slow gas accretion in these regions, and it results in compact high-redshift galaxies that are surrounded by isolated low-mass satellites. Thus, turbulent mixing and radiative transfer are both essential processes that must be included to accurately model the morphology, composition, and growth of primordial galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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