Evaporation and condensation of giant interstellar clouds in a hot-gas environment
Authors: Hensler, Gerhard; Vieser, Wolfgang
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 281, Numbers 1-2, July 2002 , pp. 275-279(5)
Abstract:Gas phases of the interstellar medium (ISM) coexist locally, penetrate each other and mix by means of dynamical and plasmaphysical processes. E.g. heat conduction from the hot to the cooler gas leads to energy and mass exchange between the gas phases. Analytical solutions exist under which evaporation of cloudy material or condensation of hot gas onto the clouds' surface dominate. Since these results are derived for stationary and static conditions and under ideal assumptions, they do not necessarily hold for a dynamical ISM. On the other hand, the mass and energy exchange between the gas phases is of great importance for the energy budget of the ISM and by this influences the evolution of galaxies. This led us to investigate the evolution of interstellar clouds in a hot gas by means of numerical simulations. At first, we compare static models with the analytical results and found that interstellar clouds with parameters requiring analytically evaporation are, in contrast, accreting surrounding material if self-gravitation and cooling are implied. For the more realistic case, where clouds are embedded in a streaming hot gas, the models show that Kelvin-Helmholtz instability which leads to the disruption of the clouds is suppressed by heat conduction so that the clouds are stabilized to survive.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: email@example.com
Publication date: July 1, 2002