Spiral density waves in M81. II. Hydrodynamic simulations of the gas response to stellar spiral density waves

Hsiang Hsu Wang, Wing Kit Lee, Ronald E. Taam, Chien Chang Feng, Lien Hsuan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The gas response to the underlying stellar spirals is explored for M81 using unmagnetized hydrodynamic simulations. Constrained within the uncertainty of observations, 18 simulations are carried out to study the effects of self-gravity and to cover the parameter space comprising three different sound speeds and three different arm strengths. The results are confronted with the data observed at wavelengths of 8 μm and 21 cm. In the outer disk, the ring-like structure observed in the 8 μm image is consistent with the response of cold neutral medium with an effective sound speed 7 km s-1. For the inner disk, the presence of spiral shocks can be understood as a result of 4:1 resonances associated with the warm neutral medium with an effective sound speed 19 km s-1. Simulations with a single effective sound speed alone cannot simultaneously explain the structures in the outer and inner disks. Instead this justifies the coexistence of cold and warm neutral media in M81. The anomalously high streaming motions observed in the northeast arm and the outward shifted turning points in the iso-velocity contours seen along the southwest arm are interpreted as signatures of interactions with companion galaxies. The level of simulated streaming motions narrows down the uncertainty of the observed arm strength toward larger amplitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume800
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2015

Keywords

  • galaxies: spiral
  • hydrodynamics
  • methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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