Comparing gaseous and stellar orbits in a spiral potential

Gilberto C. Gómez, Bárbara Pichardo, Marco A. Martos
2013 Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society  
It is generally assumed that gas in a galactic disk follows closely non self-intersecting periodic stellar orbits. In order to test this common assumption, we have performed MHD simulations of a galactic-like disk under the influence of a spiral galactic potential. We also have calculated the actual orbit of a gas parcel and compared it to stable periodic stellar orbits in the same galactic potential and position. We found that the gaseous orbits approach periodic stellar orbits far from the
more » ... or orbital resonances only. Gas orbits initialized at a given galactocentric distance but at different azimuths can be different, and scattering is conspicuous at certain galactocentric radii. Also, in contrast to the stellar behaviour, near the 4:1 (or higher order) resonance the gas follows nearly circular orbits, with much shorter radial excursions than the stars. Also, since the gas does not settle into a steady state, the gaseous orbits do not necessarily close on themselves.
doi:10.1093/mnras/stt107 fatcat:sazqap75qvhk5kqowebrhqmlz4