NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-06-15 T13:48:40 PDT
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For refcode 2011AJ....141...24V:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
2011AJ....141...24V Sustaining Star Formation Rates in Spiral Galaxies Supernova-driven Turbulent Accretion Disk Models Applied to Things Galaxies Vollmer, Bernd; Leroy, Adam K. Abstract. Gas disks of spiral galaxies can be described as clumpy accretion disks without a coupling of viscosity to the actual thermal state of the gas. The model description of a turbulent disk consisting of emerging and spreading clumps contains free parameters, which can be constrained by observations of molecular gas, atomic gas, and the star formation rate for individual galaxies. Radial profiles of 18 nearby spiral galaxies from THINGS, HERACLES, SINGS, and GALEX data are used to compare the observed star formation efficiency, molecular fraction, and velocity dispersion to the model. The observed radially decreasing velocity dispersion can be reproduced by the model. In the framework of this model, the decrease in the inner disk is due to the stellar mass distribution which dominates the gravitational potential. Introducing a radial break in the star formation efficiency into the model improves the fits significantly. This change in the star formation regime is realized by replacing the free-fall time in the prescription of the star formation rate with the molecule formation timescale. Depending on the star formation prescription, the break radius is located near the transition region between the molecular-gas-dominated and atomic-gas-dominated parts of the galactic disk or closer to the optical radius. It is found that only less massive galaxies (log M(M_sun_) <~ 10) can balance gas loss via star formation by radial gas accretion within the disk. These galaxies can thus access their gas reservoirs with large angular momentum. On the other hand, the star formation of massive galaxies is determined by the external gas mass accretion rate from a putative spherical halo of ionized gas or from satellite accretion. In the absence of this external accretion, star formation slowly exhausts the gas within the optical disk within the star formation timescale. Key words: galaxies: ISM, ISM: molecules
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