The Interstellar Medium and star formation on kpc size scales [GA]

By resimulating a region of a global disc simulation at higher resolution, we resolve and study the properties of molecular clouds with a range of masses from a few 100’s M$_{\odot}$ to $10^6$ M$_{\odot}$. The purpose of our paper is twofold, i) to compare the ISM and GMCs at much higher resolution compared to previous global simulations, and ii) to investigate smaller clouds and characteristics such as the internal properties of GMCs which cannot be resolved in galactic simulations. We confirm the robustness of cloud properties seen in previous galactic simulations, and that these properties extend to lower mass clouds, though we caution that velocity dispersions may not be measured correctly in poorly resolved clouds. We find that the properties of the clouds and ISM are only weakly dependent on the details of local stellar feedback, although stellar feedback is important to produce realistic star formation rates and agreement with the Schmidt-Kennicutt relation. We study internal properties of GMCs resolved by $10^4-10^5$ particles. The clouds are highly structured, but we find clouds have a velocity dispersion radius relationship which overall agrees with the Larson relation. The GMCs show evidence of multiple episodes of star formation, with holes corresponding to previous feedback events and dense regions likely to imminently form stars. Our simulations show clearly long filaments, which are seen predominantly in the inter-arm regions, and shells.

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. Dobbs
Wed, 10 Dec 14

Comments: 13 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS, movies at this http URL and this http URL