The Galactic fountain as an origin for the Smith Cloud

Marasco, A. & Fraternali, F., Jan-2017, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 464, 1, p. L100-L104 5 p.

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The recent discovery of an enriched metallicity for the Smith high-velocity H I Cloud (SC) lends support to a Galactic origin for this system. We use a dynamical model of the galactic fountain to reproduce the observed properties of the SC. In our model, fountain clouds are ejected from the region of the disc spiral arms and move through the halo interacting with a pre-existing hot corona. We find that a simple model where cold gas outflows vertically from the Perseus spiral arm reproduces the kinematics and the distance of the SC, but is in disagreement with the cloud's cometary morphology, if this is produced by ram-pressure stripping by the ambient gas. To explain the cloud morphology, we explore two scenarios: (I) the outflow is inclined with respect to the vertical direction and (II) the cloud is entrained by a fast wind that escapes an underlying superbubble. Solutions in agreement with all observational constraints can be found for both cases, the former requires outflow angles >40° while the latter requires ≳1000 km s-1 winds. All scenarios predict that the SC is in the ascending phase of its trajectory and has large - but not implausible - energy requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L100-L104
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2017


  • ISM: bubbles, ISM: clouds, ISM: jets and outflows, Galaxy: halo, GAS, HI, HIGH-VELOCITY CLOUDS, METALLICITY, EFFICIENCY, STREAM

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