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Star Formation and Arm Spurs/Feathers in Local TIGRESS Simulations of Spiral Galaxies

Presentation #148.08 in the session “Galaxies and Galaxy Clusters”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Star Formation and Arm Spurs/Feathers in Local TIGRESS Simulations of Spiral Galaxies

Spiral arms greatly affect gas flows and star formation in disk galaxies. We use local 3D simulations of vertically-stratified, self-gravitating, gaseous disks under a stellar spiral potential to study the effects of spiral arms on galactic star formation as well as formation of gaseous spurs/feathers. We adopt the TIGRESS framework of Kim & Ostriker (2017) to handle radiative heating and cooling, star formation, and ensuing supernova (SN) feedback. We find that more than 90% of star formation takes place inside spiral arms. The global star formation rate (SFR) in models with spiral arms is enhanced by less than a factor of 2 compared to the no-arm counterpart. This results from a quasi-linear relationship between the SFR surface density and the gas surface density, and supports the picture that spiral arms do not trigger star formation much but rather redistribute star-forming regions. Correlated SN feedback produces interarm feathers in both magnetized and unmagnetized models. These feathers live short, have parallel magnetic fields along their length, and are bounded by SN feedback in the lateral direction, in contrast to instability-induced feathers formed in our previous isothermal simulations.


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