Journal Article

Simulating galactic outflows with kinetic supernova feedback

Claudio Dalla Vecchia and Joop Schaye

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 4, pages 1431-1444
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Simulating galactic outflows with kinetic supernova feedback

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Feedback from star formation is thought to play a key role in the formation and evolution of galaxies, but its implementation in cosmological simulations is currently hampered by a lack of numerical resolution. We present and test a subgrid recipe to model feedback from massive stars in cosmological smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. The energy is distributed in kinetic form among the gas particles surrounding recently formed stars. The impact of the feedback is studied using a suite of high-resolution simulations of isolated disc galaxies embedded in dark haloes with total mass 1010 and 1012h−1M. We focus, in particular, on the effect of pressure forces on wind particles within the disc, which we turn off temporarily in some of our runs to mimic a recipe that has been widely used in the literature. We find that this popular recipe gives dramatically different results because (ram) pressure forces on expanding superbubbles determine both the structure of the disc and the development of large-scale outflows. Pressure forces exerted by expanding superbubbles puff up the disc, giving the dwarf galaxy an irregular morphology and creating a galactic fountain in the massive galaxy. Hydrodynamic drag within the disc results in a strong increase in the effective mass loading of the wind for the dwarf galaxy, but quenches much of the outflow in the case of the high-mass galaxy.

Keywords: methods: numerical; ISM: bubbles; ISM: jets and outflows; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: ISM

Journal Article.  10542 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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