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Journal Article

Driving galactic outflows with magnetic fields at low and high redshift


Steinwandel,  Ulrich P.
Cosmology, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society;


Dolag,  Klaus
Computational Structure Formation, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Steinwandel, U. P., Dolag, K., Lesch, H., & Burkert, A. (2022). Driving galactic outflows with magnetic fields at low and high redshift. The Astrophysical Journal, 924(1): 26. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac2ffd.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-CEFF-1
Although galactic outflows play a key role in our understanding of the evolution of galaxies, the exact mechanism by which galactic outflows are driven is still far from being understood and, therefore, our understanding of associated feedback mechanisms that control the evolution of galaxies is still plagued by many enigmas. In this work, we present a simple toy model that can provide insight on how non-axisymmetric instabilities in galaxies (bars, spiral arms, warps) can lead to local exponential magnetic field growth by radial flows beyond the equipartition value by at least two orders of magnitude on a timescale of a few 100 Myr. Our predictions show that the process can lead to galactic outflows in barred spiral galaxies with a mass-loading factor η ≈ 0.1, in agreement with our numerical simulations. Moreover, our outflow mechanism could contribute to an understanding of the large fraction of barred spiral galaxies that show signs of galactic outflows in the CHANG-ES survey. Extending our model shows the importance of such processes in high-redshift galaxies by assuming equipartition between magnetic energy and turbulent energy. Simple estimates for the star formation rate in our model together with cross correlated masses from the star-forming main sequence at redshifts z ∼ 2 allow us to estimate the outflow rate and mass-loading factors by non-axisymmetric instabilities and a subsequent radial inflow dynamo, giving mass-loading factors of η ≈ 0.1 for galaxies in the range of M<sub>⋆</sub> = 10<sup>9</sup>–10<sup>12</sup> M<sub>⊙</sub>, in good agreement with recent results of SINFONI and KMOS<SUP>3D</sup>.