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Superbubble breakout and galactic winds from disc galaxies

Roy, Arpita and Nath, Biman B and Sharma, Prateek and Shchekinov, Yuri (2013) Superbubble breakout and galactic winds from disc galaxies. In: MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 434 (4). pp. 3572-3581.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1279


We study the conditions for disc galaxies to produce superbubbles that can break out of the disc and produce a galactic wind. We argue that the threshold surface density of supernovae rate for seeding a wind depends on the ability of superbubble energetics to compensate for radiative cooling. We first adapt Kompaneets formalism for expanding bubbles in a stratified medium to the case of continuous energy injection and include the effects of radiative cooling in the shell. With the help of hydrodynamic simulations, we then study the evolution of superbubbles evolving in stratified discs with typical disc parameters. We identify two crucial energy injection rates that differ in their effects, the corresponding breakout ranging from being gentle to a vigorous one. (a) Superbubbles that break out of the disc with a Mach number of the order of 2-3 correspond to an energy injection rate of the order of 10(-4) erg cm(-2) s(-1), which is relevant for disc galaxies with synchrotron emitting gas in the extra-planar regions. (b) A larger energy injection threshold, of the order of 10(-3) erg cm(-2) s(-1), or equivalently, a star formation surface density of similar to 0.1 M-circle dot yr(-1) kpc(-2), corresponds to superbubbles with a Mach number similar to 5-10. While the milder superbubbles can be produced by large OB associations, the latter kind requires super-starclusters. These derived conditions compare well with observations of disc galaxies with winds and the existence of multiphase halo gas. Furthermore, we find that contrary to the general belief that superbubbles fragment through Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability when they reach a vertical height of the order of the scaleheight, the superbubbles are first affected by thermal instability for typical disc parameters and that RT instability takes over when the shells reach a distance of approximately twice the scaleheight.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to ENGLAND
Keywords: shock waves; ISM: bubbles; galaxies: ISM
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Joint Astronomy Programme
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2013 06:13
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2013 06:13
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/47984

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