Thursday November 8th, 2012

How supernova explosions power galactic winds

Peter Creasey (1,2), Tom Theuns (2,3), Richard G. Bower (2) ((1) Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, (2) U. of Durham, (3) U. of Antwerp)
(Submitted on 6 Nov 2012)
Feedback from supernovae is an essential aspect of galaxy formation. In order to improve subgrid models of feedback we perform a series of numerical experiments to investigate how supernova explosions power galactic winds. We use the Flash hydrodynamic code to model a simplified ISM, including gravity, hydrodynamics, radiative cooling above 10,000 K, and star formation that reproduces the
Kennicutt-Schmidt relation. By simulating a small patch of the ISM in a tall box perpendicular to the disk, we obtain sub-parsec resolution allowing us to resolve individual supernova events and we investigate how the wind properties depend on those of the ISM and the galaxy. We find that outflows are more efficient in disks with lower surface densities or gas fractions. A simple model in which the warm cloudy medium is the barrier that limits the expansion of blast waves reproduces the scaling of outflow properties with disk parameters at high star formation rates. The scaling we find sets the investigation of galaxy winds on a new footing, providing a physically motivated sub-grid description of winds that can be implemented in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and phenomenological models. [Abridged] Comments: 27 pages, 21 figures, submitted to MNRAS. Additional media at this http URL
Subjects: Galaxy Astrophysics (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and
Extragalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)
Cite as: arXiv:1211.1395 [astro-ph.GA]
(or arXiv:1211.1395v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)

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