Simulations of Star Formation in Spiral Disc Galaxies
F. G. Ramón-Fox
University of St. Andrews
Ian A. Bonnell (University of St. Andrews)
Star formation is an important mechanism affecting the evolution of galaxies and the dynamics of the ISM as it determines the rate at which gas is converted into stars. A key question is to understand the physical processes that affect star formation regions and how they operate in a galaxy-scale context. Some triggering mechanisms originate at large scales, while actual star formation occurs in dense regions with very small scales. In the case of spiral disc galaxies, a range of morphologies is observed from barred galaxies and prominent grand design spirals to discs with flocculent morphologies, showing less prominent arms. These morphological features may have an effect on the star formation activity because their presence affects the local gas dynamics and may promote the formation of dense gas regions. Previous works in the subject are limited by the use of rigid spiral potentials. The present work explores the behaviour of regions of star formation in a spiral galaxy including the effect of a live stellar disc. Galaxy scale and high-resolution simulations with an N-body and Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code are performed. Preliminary results of the ongoing work are presented.