Galaxy chemical evolution models: The role of molecular gas formation [GA]

In our grid of multiphase chemical evolution models (Moll\’a & D\’iaz, 2005), star formation in the disk occurs in two steps: first, molecular gas forms, and then stars are created by cloud-cloud collisions or interactions of massive stars with the surrounding molecular clouds. The formation of both molecular clouds and stars are treated through the use of free parameters we refer to as efficiencies. In this work we modify the formation of molecular clouds based on several new prescriptions existing in the literature, and we compare the results obtained for a chemical evolution model of the Milky Way Galaxy regarding the evolution of the Solar region, the radial structure of the Galactic disk, and the ratio between the diffuse and molecular components, HI/H$_2$. Our results show that the six prescriptions we have tested reproduce fairly consistent most of the observed trends, differing mostly in their predictions for the (poorly-constrained) outskirts of the Milky Way and the evolution in time of its radial structure. Among them, the model proposed by Ascasibar et al. (2017), where the conversion of diffuse gas into molecular clouds depends on the local stellar and gas densities as well as on the gas metallicity, seems to provide the best overall match to the observed data.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Molla, A. Diaz, Y. Ascasibar, et. al.
Wed, 15 Feb 17

Comments: 14 pages, 13 figures, accepted by Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society