Journal Article

Photoionized gas in hydrostatic equilibrium: the role of gravity

Y. Ascasibar and A. I. Díaz

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 404, issue 1, pages 275-282
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Photoionized gas in hydrostatic equilibrium: the role of gravity

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We present a method to include the effects of gravity in the plasma physics code cloudy. More precisely, a term is added to the desired gas pressure in order to enforce hydrostatic equilibrium, accounting for both the self-gravity of the gas and the presence of an optional external potential. As a test case, a plane-parallel model of the vertical structure of the Milky Way disc near the solar neighbourhood is considered. It is shown that the gravitational force determines the scaleheight of the disc, and it plays a critical role in setting its overall chemical composition. However, other variables, such as the shape of incident continuum and the intensity of the Galactic magnetic field, strongly affect the predicted structure.

Keywords: gravitation; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; ISM: structure

Journal Article.  4996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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