Protostellar Feedback and Final Mass of the Second-Generation Primordial Stars
The first stars in the universe ionized the ambient primordial gas through various feedback processes. "Second-generation" primordial stars potentially form from this disturbed gas after its recombination. In this Letter, we study the late formation stage of such second-generation stars, where a large amount of gas accretes onto the protostar and the final stellar mass is determined when the accretion terminates. We directly compute the complex interplay between the accretion flow and stellar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, performing radiation-hydrodynamic simulations coupled with stellar evolution calculations. Because of more efficient H2 and HD cooling in the pre-stellar stage, the accretion rates onto the star are ten times lower than in the case of the formation of the first stars. The lower accretion rates and envelope density result in the occurrence of an expanding bipolar HII region at a lower protostellar mass M_* ∼eq 10Msun, which blows out the circumstellar material, thereby quenching the mass supply from the envelope to the accretion disk. At the same time the disk loses mass due to photoevaporation by the growing star. In our fiducial case the stellar UV feedback terminates mass accretion onto the star at M_* ∼eq 17Msun. Although the derived masses of the second-generation primordial stars are systematically lower than those of the first generation, the difference is within a factor of only a few. Our results suggest a new scenario, whereby the majority of the primordial stars are born as massive stars with tens of solar masses, regardless of their generations.