Photoionisation and Heating of a Supernova Driven, Turbulent, Interstellar Medium [GA]

The Diffuse Ionised Gas (DIG) in galaxies traces photoionisation feedback from massive stars. Through three dimensional photoionisation simulations, we study the propagation of ionising photons, photoionisation heating and the resulting distribution of ionised and neutral gas within snapshots of magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a supernova driven turbulent interstellar medium. We also investigate the impact of non-photoionisation heating on observed optical emission line ratios. Inclusion of a heating term which scales less steeply with electron density than photoionisation is required to produce diagnostic emission line ratios similar to those observed with the Wisconsin H{\alpha} Mapper. Once such heating terms have been included, we are also able to produce temperatures similar to those inferred from observations of the DIG, with temperatures increasing to above 15000 K at heights |z| > 1 kpc. We find that ionising photons travel through low density regions close to the midplane of the simulations, while travelling through diffuse low density regions at large heights. The majority of photons travel small distances (< 100pc); however some travel kiloparsecs and ionise the DIG.

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J. Barnes, K. Wood, A. Hill, et. al.
Fri, 14 Mar 14