Thursday, February 21, 2013

Melioli,C. et al.; Evolution of M82-like starburst winds revisited: 3D radiative cooling hydrodynamical simulations

Evolution of M82-like starburst winds revisited: 3D radiative cooling hydrodynamical simulations

[arXiv:1301.5005, pdf, first author, second, third]
This is an interesting paper because it is closely related to work done by Cooper et al. (first paper 2008, second paper 2009) that I have been looking at for some time. The paper deals with simulations done using a hydro AMR that has radiative cooling and some species tracking. It is more work on superbubbles and AGNs. They specifically use M82 as a test case.

The authors are from Brazil (Sao Paulo), and the code is named YGUAZU, which is a Paraguayan spelling of Iguazú (sort of appropriate for a hydro code since it means "Big Water"). Other than some basics (they use a Van Leer integrator) they only provide references and no explanation. Also interesting is the fact that they cite Strickland & Stevens (2000) in their explanation of how they set their initial conditions, but they don't use the notation of Strickland and Stevens. They use the notation of Jackie Cooper (2009) (she did work with Strickland and Stevens and used their code and set up). But these guys don't cite here even though they have copied her equations exactly.

Their energy injection centers around super stellar clusters (SSCs) "with an average size of ∼ 5.7 pc and mass (of stars) between 104 and 106 M(Melo et al. 2005)." They look at metals and how much gas escapes the galaxy and how much metals produced by supernovas escapes the galaxies. They conclude that most of the gas mass stays in the galaxy even with a superbubble blow out. Also most of the metals stay in the galaxy but some get transported out in the galactic winds that form due to the supernovas (the SN's pump out metal rich winds).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mac Low, M.-M.; McCray, R.; Superbubbles in disk galaxies

Superbubbles in disk galaxies
by: Mac Low, M.-M.; McCray, R.
[ADS: 1988ApJ...324..776M, pdf, first author: personal site, second author]
This paper is part of a series of papers done by Mac Low and McCray on this subject. This paper contains the theory and analytic backing on the subject, another paper in 1989 contains more of the simulations on the same subject. This paper and others formed the basis of Mac Low's PhD dissertation, "Interactions of Massive Stars with the Interstellar Medium: Bow Shocks and Superbubbles". McCray was his advisor. Mac Low would later go on to advise my advisor Fabian Heitsch for his PhD.

This particular paper is heavy on the theory and equations. Basically they are looking at how supernovas (SNs) interact with the ISM. As supernovas explode they release significant energy into the ISM and create a bubble of hot gas. If the bubble is large enough it gets classified as a superbubble, which has the possibility of blowing out of the galactic disk, which then affects the halo and galactic accretion.

This paper represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the structure of the ISM. The models produced here are idealized and smooth, meaning everything looks nice, flat and symmetric. 25 years later the technology and experience available to researchers has improved and thus we have moved on to solving this exact same problem, except in 3D and with a much more complex setup.

There are two important conclusions that I wanted to mention. They provide a parameter that determines whether or not a superbubble will blow out of a stratified galactic disk. They give it as:
D = LSN ρ01/2 Pe-3/2 H-2
where LSN is the luminosity from the SNs, ρ0 is the density of the galactic disk (or ISM), Pe is the external pressure from the ISM, and H is the scale height of the disk. If D > 100 then there will be blowout even if the center of the superbubble begins to collapse. It will be interesting to find a corresponding parameter for a more complex set of simulations.

The second important point is that if there is a dense cloud in the ISM then when the edge of the superbubble over runs it will not "puncture" the bubble leading to a release of pressure. The bubble will instead travel around it and continue expanding. This is something that has become a very important consideration since it is the thing that allows molecular clouds to survive strong shocks like this. This was essentially a hint at the beginning of the study of the survivability of cold molecular clouds when they have been strongly shocked. The problem is that if molecular clouds are strongly shocked then they will heat up, expand and will not collapse gravitationally to form stars. So there has to be some way for them to survive long enough to form stars. Many people will look into this problem later, and research is still going on.

As a note, they used the 2D hydro code Zeus, which was very influential back in the day. The creators of Zeus rewrote the code for MHD and 3D and named it Athena (original site). Athena is the code that I use for my research.