Effects of Magnetic Fields on Gas Dynamics and Star Formation in Nuclear Rings

Sanghyuk Moon, Woong Tae Kim, Chang Goo Kim, Eve C. Ostriker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nuclear rings at the centers of barred galaxies are known to be strongly magnetized. To explore the effects of magnetic fields on star formation in these rings and nuclear gas flows, we run magnetohydrodynamic simulations in which there is a temporally constant magnetized inflow to the ring, representing a bar-driven inflow. The mass inflow rate is 1M yr−1, and we explore models with a range of field strength in the inflow. We adopt the TIGRESS framework developed by Kim & Ostriker to handle radiative heating and cooling, star formation, and resulting supernova (SN) feedback. We find that magnetic fields are efficiently amplified in the ring due to rotational shear and SN feedback. Within a few 100 Myr, the turbulent component B trb in the ring saturates at ∼35 μG (in rough equipartition with the turbulent kinetic energy density), while the regular component B reg exceeds 50 μG. Expanding superbubbles created by clustered SN explosions vertically drag predominantly toroidal fields from near the midplane to produce poloidal fields in high-altitude regions. The growth of magnetic fields greatly suppresses star formation at late times. Simultaneously, strong magnetic tension in the ring drives radially inward accretion flows from the ring to form a circumnuclear disk in the central region; this feature is absent in the unmagnetized model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Magnetic Fields on Gas Dynamics and Star Formation in Nuclear Rings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this