The formation of CO dark gas in Milky Way type galaxies
Dust, Gas and Star Formation in Galaxies Throughout Cosmic Time
Rowan Smith
JBCA, University of Manchester
Simon C. O. Glover (University of Heidelberg), Paul C. Clark (University of Cardiff), Ralf S. Klessen (University of Heidelberg), and Volker Springel (HITs)
I will present simulations using the moving mesh code AREPO coupled to a time-dependent chemical network to investigate the formation and destruction of molecular gas in simulated spiral galaxies. This allows us to determine the characteristics of the gas that is not traced by CO emission, without recourse to a parameterised `clumping factor'. We calculate H2 and CO column densities through our simulated disc galaxies, and estimate the CO emission and CO-H2 conversion factor. We find that in conditions akin to those in the local interstellar medium, around 42% of the total molecular mass should be in CO-dark regions, in reasonable agreement with observational estimates. The CO-dark molecular gas primarily resides in extremely long (>100 pc) filaments that are stretched between spiral arms by galactic shear. Only the centres of these filaments are bright in CO, suggesting that filamentary molecular clouds observed in the Milky Way may only be small parts of much larger structures. The CO-dark molecular gas mainly exists in a partially molecular phase that accounts for a significant fraction of the total disc mass budget. The dark gas fraction is higher in simulations with higher ambient UV fields or lower surface densities, implying that external galaxies with these conditions might have a greater proportion of dark gas.
09:00 - 10:30