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Title: COLLISIONS BETWEEN DARK MATTER CONFINED HIGH VELOCITY CLOUDS AND MAGNETIZED GALACTIC DISKS: THE SMITH CLOUD

The Galaxy’s population of High Velocity Clouds (HVCs) may include a subpopulation that is confined by dark matter minihalos and falling toward the Galactic disk. We present the first magnetohydrodynamic simulational study of dark-matter-dominated HVCs colliding with a weakly magnetized galactic disk. Our HVCs have baryonic masses of 5 × 10{sup 6}M{sub ⊙} and dark matter minihalo masses of 0, 3 × 10{sup 8}, or 1 × 10{sup 9} M{sub ⊙}. They are modeled on the Smith Cloud, which is said to have collided with the disk 70 Myr ago. We find that, in all cases, the cloud’s collision with the galactic disk creates a hole in the disk, completely disperses the cloud, and forms a bubble-shaped structure on the far side of the disk. In contrast, when present, the dark matter minihalo continues unimpeded along its trajectory. Later, as the minihalo passes through the bubble structure and galactic halo, it accretes up to 6.0 × 10{sup 5} M{sub ⊙} in baryonic material, depending on the strengths of the magnetic field and minihalo gravity. These simulations suggest that if the Smith Cloud is associated with a dark matter minihalo and collided with the Galactic disk, the minihalo has accreted the observed gas. However, if the Smith Cloud is dark-matter-free,more » it is on its first approach toward the disk. These simulations also suggest that the dark matter is most concentrated either at the head of the cloud or near the cloud, depending upon the strength of the magnetic field, a point that could inform indirect dark matter searches.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518641
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 816; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BARYONS; BUBBLES; COLLISIONS; GRAVITATION; HOLES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MASS; MILKY WAY; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; VELOCITY