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Expansion of a superbubble in a uniform magnetic field
Ferriere, Katia M.; Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark; Zweibel, Ellen G.
AA(Colorado, University; Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Boulder), AB(NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA), AC(Colorado, University, Boulder)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 375, July 1, 1991, p. 239-253. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Bubbles, Interstellar Magnetic Fields, Interstellar Matter, Magnetohydrodynamics, Shock Wave Propagation, Supernovae, Analytic Functions, Computational Astrophysics, Expansion, Numerical Analysis
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The effects of interstellar magnetic fields on the evolution and structure of superbubbles are investigated. First, the governing equations for propagation of a radiative shock are derived and solved analytically in the limit of high expansion velocity. A numerical code able to solve them in the general case and discuss the numerical results is then presented. It is found that magnetic fields of the strength present in the Galactic disk do not significantly modify the overall shape and dimensions of a superbubble. They reduce the volume of the interior cavity by one-third on average during the expansion phase. The shell elongates slightly in the direction of the external field. Magnetic pressure dominates over gas pressure in most of the shell and forces it to thicken substantially. Finally, because of the transverse mass motions which take place from the magnetic poles to the equator, the column density at the poles is reduced by typically a factor of 10.

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