High-velocity-dispersion cold gas in ULIRG outflows - I. direct simulations

D. J. Williamson, Robert J. Thacker, Evan Scannapieco, M. Brüggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Observations (e.g. Phillips, Heckman et al., Martin) have revealed cold gas with large velocity dispersions (≈300 km s. -1) within the hot outflows of ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). This gas may trace its origin to the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) fragmentation of a super-bubble or may arise on smaller scales. We model a ULIRG outflow at two scales to recreate this gas in three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations using . flash. Although resolution is limited, these models successfully produce cold gas in outflows with large velocity dispersions. Our small-scale models produce this cold gas through RT fragmentation of the super-bubble wall, but the large-scale models produce the cold gas after hot bubbles fragment the disc's gas into cold clouds which are then accelerated by thermal pressure, and supplemented by cooling within the outflow. We produce simple mock spectra to compare these simulations to observed absorption spectra and find line-widths of ≈250 km s. -1, agreeing with the lower end of observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Hydrodynamics
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Line: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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