Department

Physics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2002

Abstract

We simulate the Galactic center nonthermal laments as magnetized wakes formed dynamically from amplification of a weak ( tens of l G) global magnetic field through the interaction of molecular clouds with a Galactic center wind. One of the key issues in this cometary model is the stability of the lament against dynamical disruption. Here we show two-dimensional MHD simulations for interstellar conditions that are appropriate for the Galactic center. The structures eventually disrupt through a shear-driven nonlinear instability but maintain coherence for lengths up to 100 times their width as observed. The final instability, which destroys the lament through shredding and plasmoid formation, grows quickly in space ( and time) and leads to an abrupt end to the structure, in accord with observations. As a by-product, the simulation shows that emission should peak well downstream from the cloud-wind interaction site.

Journal

The Astrophysical Journal

Journal ISSN

0004-637X

Volume

568

First Page

220

Last Page

225

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1086/338842

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