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Title:
A theory of the interstellar medium - Three components regulated by supernova explosions in an inhomogeneous substrate
Authors:
McKee, C. F.; Ostriker, J. P.
Affiliation:
AA(California, University, Berkeley, Calif.), AB(Princeton, University, New Observatory, Princeton, N.J.)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 218, Nov. 15, 1977, p. 148-169. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
11/1977
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Interstellar Matter, Nebulae, Supernova Remnants, X Ray Sources, Absorption Spectra, Adiabatic Conditions, Astronomical Models, Background Radiation, Clouds, Evaporation, High Temperature Gases, Rarefied Gases
DOI:
10.1086/155667
Bibliographic Code:
1977ApJ...218..148M

Abstract

Supernova explosions in a cloudy interstellar medium produce a three-component medium in which a large fraction of the volume is filled with hot, tenuous gas. In the disk of the galaxy the evolution of supernova remnants is altered by evaporation of cool clouds embedded in the hot medium. Radiative losses are enhanced by the resulting increase in density and by radiation from the conductive interfaces between clouds and hot gas. Mass balance (cloud evaporation rate = dense shell formation rate) and energy balance (supernova shock input = radiation loss) determine the density and temperature of the hot medium. A self-consistent model of the interstellar medium developed herein accounts for the observed pressure of interstellar clouds, the galactic soft X-ray background, the O VI absorption line observations, the ionization and heating of much of the interstellar medium, and the motions of the clouds.

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