Wobbling The Galactic Disk with Bombardment of Satellite Galaxies

Type Journal Article
Names Elena D'Onghia
Publication NASA Proposal #13-ATP13-53
Pages 53
Journal Abbreviation NASA Proposal #13-ATP13-53
Date 2013
URL http://adsabs.org/2013atp.prop.53D
Library Catalog adslabs.org
Abstract We propose to assess the effect of impacts of large visible satellite galaxies on a disk, as well as the relevance of the continuing bombardment of the Galactic disk by dark matter clumps as predicted by the current cosmological framework that can wobble the disk, heating it and eventually exciting ragged spiral structures. In particular, we make detailed predictions for observable features such as spiral arms, rings and their associated stars in galactic disks and relate them to the physical processes that drive their formation and evolution in our Milky Way galaxy and nearby spirals. To do this, we will combine analytic methods and numerical simulations that allow us to calculate observables, which we will compare to present and forthcoming observations. Our methodology utilizes a combination of state of the art hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy evolution and multi- wavelength radiative transfer simulations. Our primary goals are: (1) To identify the physical processes that are responsible for spiral structure formation observed in our Milky Way and nearby disk galaxies, from the flocculent to grand- designed spiral galaxies and to provide observable signatures to be compared with data on nearby galaxies combining maps of 24 micron emission (Spitzer) and cold gas, CO (Heracles) and HI (THINGS). (2) To explore different morphologies of spiral galaxies: from the multi-armed galaxies to the Milky Way sized galaxies with few arms. (3) For a Milky Way disk we will assess the effect of impacts of substructures passing through the disk to origin the asymmetry in the number density of stars recently discovered from SDSS and SEGUE data and confirmed from RAVE data. We will also investigate the disk heating in the vertical plane due to the formation of vertical oscillations that are produced by the impact and migration of stars in the disk as consequence of the heating as compared to the classical stellar migration mechanism. (4) We will measure the spiral pattern speed and the velocity ellipsoid of the stars, and we will determine the contribution of the spiral arms to the heating of the stellar disk and to the radial migration of stars in the disk when the disk is perturbed by internal agents as giant molecular clouds. Our methodology has the potential to discern the detailed physical processes occurring in stellar disks with higher detail compared to previous simulations done in isolation or cosmological simulations of individual galaxies. The results of our work will provide a comprehensive guide for interpreting observations from upcoming GAIA, SDSS-IV, Spitzer and HST and future observations with JWST.
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