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On the stability of tidal streams


Schneider, A; Moore, B (2011). On the stability of tidal streams. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 415(2):1569-1576.

Abstract

We explore the stability of tidal streams to perturbations, motivated by recent claims that the clumpy structure of the stellar streams surrounding the globular cluster Palomar 5 are the result of gravitational instability. We calculate the Jeans length of tidal streams by treating them as a thin expanding cylinder of collisionless matter. We also find a general relation between the density and the velocity dispersion inside a stream, which is used to determine the longitudinal Jeans criterion. Our analytic results are checked by following the time evolution of the phase space density within streams using numerical simulations. We conclude that tidal streams within our Galactic halo are stable on all length scales and over all time-scales.

We explore the stability of tidal streams to perturbations, motivated by recent claims that the clumpy structure of the stellar streams surrounding the globular cluster Palomar 5 are the result of gravitational instability. We calculate the Jeans length of tidal streams by treating them as a thin expanding cylinder of collisionless matter. We also find a general relation between the density and the velocity dispersion inside a stream, which is used to determine the longitudinal Jeans criterion. Our analytic results are checked by following the time evolution of the phase space density within streams using numerical simulations. We conclude that tidal streams within our Galactic halo are stable on all length scales and over all time-scales.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:August 2011
Deposited On:18 Feb 2012 16:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:20
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0035-8711 (P) 1365-2966 (E)
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18811.x
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3276
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-54353

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