The Launching of Cosmic Ray Driven Outflows

24 May 2021  ·  Xiaoshan Huang, Shane W. Davis ·

Cosmic rays (CRs) are thought to be an important feedback mechanism in star-forming galaxies. They can provide an important source of pressure support and possibly drive outflows... We perform multidimensional CR-magnetohydrodynamic simulations including transport by streaming and diffusion to investigate wind launching from an initially hydrostatic atmosphere by CRs. We estimate a characteristic Eddington limit on the CR flux for which the CR force exceeds gravity and compare it to simulated systems. Scaling our results to conditions in star-forming galaxies, we find that CRs are likely to contribute to driving outflows for a broad range of star formation environments. We quantify the momentum and energy transfer between CRs and gas, along with the associated mass outflow rates under different assumptions about the relative importance of streaming and diffusion for transport. In simulations with streaming, we observe the growth and saturation of the CR acoustic instability, but the CRs and gas remain well coupled, with CR momentum transferred efficiently to the gas even when this instability is present. Higher CR fluxes transferr more energy to the gas and drive stronger outflows. When streaming is present, most of the transferred energy takes the form of Alfv\'{e}n wave heating of the gas, raising its pressure and internal energy, with a lower fractional contribution to the kinetic energy of the outflow. We also consider runs with radiative cooling, which modifies gas temperature and pressure profiles but does not seem to have a large impact on the mass outflow for super-Eddington CR fluxes. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena