Space- and time-correlations in the supernova driven interstellar medium [GA]

We apply correlation analysis to random velocity, density and magnetic fields in numerical simulations of the supernova-driven interstellar medium (ISM). We solve the thermo-magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations in a shearing, Cartesian box representing a local region of the ISM, subject to thermal and kinetic energy injection by supernova explosions, and parametrized optically-thin radiative cooling. We consider the cold, warm and hot phases of the ISM separately; the analysis mostly considers the warm gas, which occupies the bulk of the simulation volume. Various physical variables have different correlation lengths in the warm phase: $40{\,{\rm pc}}$, $50{\,{\rm pc}}$, and $60{\,{\rm pc}}$ for magnetic field, density, and velocity, respectively, in the midplane. The correlation time of the random velocity field is comparable to the eddy turnover time, about $10^7{\,{\rm yr}}$, although it may be shorter in regions with higher star formation rate. The random magnetic field is anisotropic, with the standard deviations of its components $b_x/b_y/b_z$ having the approximate ratios $0.5/0.6/0.6$ in the midplane. The anisotropy is attributed to the global velocity shear from galactic differential rotation, and locally inhomogeneous outflow to the galactic halo. The correlation length of Faraday depth along the $z$-axis, $120{\,{\rm pc}}$, is greater than for electron density, $60 \unicode{x2013} 90{\,{\rm pc}}$, and vertical magnetic field, $60{\,{\rm pc}}$. Such comparisons may be sensitive to the orientation of the line of sight. Uncertainties of the structure functions of the synchrotron intensity rapidly increase with the scale. This feature is hidden in power spectrum analysis, which can undermine the usefulness of power spectra for detailed studies of interstellar turbulence.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Hollins, G. Sarson, A. Shukurov, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 14 pages, 16 figures