stochastic self-propagating star formation
diseš-e setâregân bâ xod-tuceš-e kâturgin
Fr.: formation d'étoiles par auto-propagation stochastique
A mechanism that could be responsible for global → spiral structure in galaxies either by itself or in conjunction with spiral → density waves. In this mechanism, star formation is caused by → supernova-induced → shocks which compress the → interstellar medium. The → massive stars thus formed may, when they explode, induce further → star formation. If conditions are right, the process becomes self-propagating, resulting in agglomerations of young stars and hot gas which are stretched into spiral shaped features by → differential rotation. Merging of small agglomerations into larger ones may then produce large-scale spiral structure over the entire galaxy. The SSPSF model, first suggested by Mueller & Arnett (1976) was developed by Gerola & Seiden (1978). While the → density wave theory postulates that spiral structure is due to a global property of the galaxy, the SSPSF model examines the alternative viewpoint, namely that spiral structure may be induced by more local processes. The two mechanisms are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they involve very different approaches to the modeling of galaxy evolution. The SSPSF gives a better fit than the density wave theory to the patchy spiral arms found in many spiral galaxies. However, it cannot explain → galactic bars.