ISM turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability

Robert A. Piontek, Eve Charis Ostriker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We have performed numerical simulations which were designed to further our understanding of the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM). Our simulations include a multi-phase thermodynamic model of the ISM, magnetic fields, and sheared rotation, allowing us to study the effects of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in an environment containing high density cold clouds embedded in a warm, low density, ambient medium. These models have shown that the MRI is indeed a significant source of turbulence, particularly at low mean densities typical of the outer regions of the Milky Way, where star formation rates are low, but high levels of turbulence persist. Here, we summarize past findings, as well as our most recent models which include vertical stratification, allowing us to self-consistently model the vertical distribution of material in the disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Volume2
Issue numberS237
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Clouds
  • ISM: general
  • Kinematics and dynamics
  • Magnetic fields
  • Structure

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