We explore the effect of different galactic disc environments on the properties of star-forming clouds through variations in the background potential in a set of isolated galaxy simulations. Rising, falling and flat rotation curves expected in halo dominated, disc dominated and Milky Way-like galaxies were considered, with and without an additional two-arm spiral potential. The evolution of each disc displayed notable variations that are attributed to different regimes of stability, determined by shear and gravitational collapse. The properties of a typical cloud were largely unaffected by the changes in rotation curve, but the production of small and large cloud associations was strongly dependent on this environment. This suggests that while differing rotation curves can influence where clouds are initially formed, the average bulk properties are effectively independent of the global environment. The addition of a spiral perturbation made the greatest difference to cloud properties, successfully sweeping the gas into larger, seemingly unbound, extended structures and creating large arm-interarm contrasts.
N. Nguyen, A. Pettitt, E. Tasker, et. al.
Tue, 5 Dec 17
Comments: Accepted to MNRAS on 3rd December, 2017