Dynamically Driven Inflow onto the Galactic Center and its Effect upon Molecular Clouds
Abstract The Galactic bar plays a critical role in the evolution of the Milky Way’s Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), driving gas toward the Galactic Center via gas flows known as dust lanes. To explore the interaction between the CMZ and the dust lanes, we run hydrodynamic simulations in arepo , modeling the potential of the Milky Way’s bar in the absence of gas self-gravity and star formation physics, and we study the flows of mass using Monte Carlo tracer particles. We estimate the efficiency of the inflow via the dust lanes, finding that only about a third (30% ± 12%) of the dust lanes’ mass initially accretes onto the CMZ, while the rest overshoots and accretes later. Given observational estimates of the amount of gas within the Milky Way’s dust lanes, this suggests that the true total inflow rate onto the CMZ is 0.8 ± 0.6 M ⊙ yr −1 . Clouds in this simulated CMZ have sudden peaks in their average density near the apocenter, where they undergo violent collisions with inflowing material. While these clouds tend to counter-rotate due to shear, co-rotating clouds occasionally occur due to the injection of momentum from collisions with inflowing material (∼52% are more »
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10343964
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
922
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
79
ISSN:
0004-637X
1. ABSTRACT We use hydrodynamical simulations to study the Milky Way’s central molecular zone (CMZ). The simulations include a non-equilibrium chemical network, the gas self-gravity, star formation, and supernova feedback. We resolve the structure of the interstellar medium at sub-parsec resolution while also capturing the interaction between the CMZ and the bar-driven large-scale flow out to $R\sim 5\, {\rm kpc}$. Our main findings are as follows: (1) The distinction between inner (R ≲ 120 pc) and outer (120 ≲ R ≲ 450 pc) CMZ that is sometimes proposed in the literature is unnecessary. Instead, the CMZ is best described as single structure, namely a star-forming ring with outer radius R ≃ 200 pc which includes the 1.3° complex and which is directly interacting with the dust lanes that mediate the bar-driven inflow. (2) This accretion can induce a significant tilt of the CMZ out of the plane. A tilted CMZ might provide an alternative explanation to the ∞-shaped structure identified in Herschel data by Molinari et al. (3) The bar in our simulation efficiently drives an inflow from the Galactic disc (R ≃ 3 kpc) down to the CMZ (R ≃ 200 pc) of the order of $1\rm \, M_\odot \, yr^{-1}$, consistent with observational determinations. (4) Supernova feedback canmore »
2. ABSTRACT Observations of molecular gas near the Galactic Centre (|l| < 10°, |b| < 1°) reveal the presence of a distinct population of enigmatic compact clouds that are characterized by extreme velocity dispersions ($\Delta v \gt 100\, {\rm km\, s^{-1}}$). These extended velocity features are very prominent in the data cubes and dominate the kinematics of molecular gas just outside the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ). The prototypical example of such a cloud is Bania Clump 2. We show that similar features are naturally produced in simulations of gas flow in a realistic barred potential. We analyse the structure of the features obtained in the simulations and use this to interpret the observations. We find that the features arise from collisions between material that has been infalling rapidly along the dust lanes of the Milky Way bar and material that belongs to one of the following two categories: (i) material that has ‘overshot’ after falling down the dust lanes on the opposite side; (ii) material which is part of the CMZ. Both types of collisions involve gas with large differences in the line-of-sight velocities, which is what produces the observed extreme velocity dispersions. Examples of both categories can be identified inmore »
We report on our combined analysis of HST, VLT/MUSE, VLT/SINFONI, and ALMA observations of the local Seyfert 2 galaxy, NGC 5728 to investigate in detail the feeding and feedback of the active galactic nucleus (AGN). The data sets simultaneously probe the morphology, excitation, and kinematics of the stars, ionized gas, and molecular gas over a large range of spatial scales (10 pc to 10 kpc). NGC 5728 contains a large stellar bar that is driving gas along prominent dust lanes to the inner 1 kpc where the gas settles into a circumnuclear ring. The ring is strongly star forming and contains a substantial population of young stars as indicated by the lowered stellar velocity dispersion and gas excitation consistent with H ii regions. We model the kinematics of the ring using the velocity field of the CO (2–1) emission and stars and find it is consistent with a rotating disc. The outer regions of the disc, where the dust lanes meet the ring, show signatures of inflow at a rate of 1 M$\odot$ yr−1. Inside the ring, we observe three molecular gas components corresponding to the circular rotation of the outer ring, a warped disc, and the nuclear stellar bar. The AGN is driving an ionized gasmore »