THE LAUNCHING of COLD CLOUDS by GALAXY OUTFLOWS. II. the ROLE of THERMAL CONDUCTION

Marcus Brüggen, Evan Scannapieco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

We explore the impact of electron thermal conduction on the evolution of radiatively cooled cold clouds embedded in flows of hot and fast material as it occurs in outflowing galaxies. Performing a parameter study of three-dimensional adaptive mesh refinement hydrodynamical simulations, we show that electron thermal conduction causes cold clouds to evaporate, but it can also extend their lifetimes by compressing them into dense filaments. We distinguish between low column-density clouds, which are disrupted on very short times, and high-column density clouds with much longer disruption times that are set by a balance between impinging thermal energy and evaporation. We provide fits to the cloud lifetimes and velocities that can be used in galaxy-scale simulations of outflows in which the evolution of individual clouds cannot be modeled with the required resolution. Moreover, we show that the clouds are only accelerated to a small fraction of the ambient velocity because compression by evaporation causes the clouds to present a small cross-section to the ambient flow. This means that either magnetic fields must suppress thermal conduction, or that the cold clouds observed in galaxy outflows are not formed of cold material carried out from the galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume822
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • conduction
  • galaxies: ISM
  • hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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