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The Impact of Spiral Pitch Angle on Radial Migration of Stars

Presentation #241.18 in the session Evolution of Galaxies — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The Impact of Spiral Pitch Angle on Radial Migration of Stars

As galaxies evolve over time, the orbits of their constituent stars change in size and shape. These two characteristics can be probed in tracer particle simulations of spiral galaxies via the initial and final measures of stellar populations that track the orbital eccentricity and angular momentum of individual stars over time. We investigate how these two characteristics of orbital patterns are influenced by spiral arm pitch angle with a focus on how stars move near the corotation resonance of a spiral pattern. For all pitch angles we find that there are changes in both orbital eccentricity and size for stars across a wide radial range of the galaxy, on different scales. The theoretical expectation is that only the orbital size will change at corotation. This project is in process and will examine trends in these orbital changes around corotation for several pitch angles. We aim to use MaNGA and Galaxy Zoo data to observationally probe related measures. In observed galaxies we cannot access orbital parameters directly so we will look at how the metallicity gradient of spiral galaxies changes with pitch angle. Since galaxies are expected to form with a significant metallicity gradient, a flattening of this gradient can be a useful probe of radial migration. This research will help to further understand the dynamical evolution of galaxies and the impact of spiral arms on radial migration.

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