Astrophys. J., 739, 30 (2011/September-3)
Simulations of high-velocity clouds. I. Hydrodynamics and high-velocity high ions.
KWAK K., HENLEY D.B. and SHELTON R.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present hydrodynamic simulations of high-velocity clouds (HVCs) traveling through the hot, tenuous medium in the Galactic halo. A suite of models was created using the FLASH hydrodynamics code, sampling various cloud sizes, densities, and velocities. In all cases, the cloud-halo interaction ablates material from the clouds. The ablated material falls behind the clouds where it mixes with the ambient medium to produce intermediate-temperature gas, some of which radiatively cools to less than 10,000 K. Using a non-equilibrium ionization algorithm, we track the ionization levels of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in the gas throughout the simulation period. We present observation-related predictions, including the expected H I and high ion (C IV, N V, and O VI) column densities on sightlines through the clouds as functions of evolutionary time and off-center distance. The predicted column densities overlap those observed for Complex C. The observations are best matched by clouds that have interacted with the Galactic environment for tens to hundreds of megayears. Given the large distances across which the clouds would travel during such time, our results are consistent with Complex C having an extragalactic origin. The destruction of HVCs is also of interest; the smallest cloud (initial mass ~ 120 M☉) lost most of its mass during the simulation period (60 Myr), while the largest cloud (initial mass ~ 4x105 M☉) remained largely intact, although deformed, during its simulation period (240 Myr).
Galaxy: halo - hydrodynamics - ISM: clouds - methods: numerical - turbulence - ultraviolet: ISM
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