EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 423, Number 2, August IV 2004
Page(s) L29 - L32
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200400029

A&A 423, L29-L32 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200400029


Interstellar turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability

N. Dziourkevitch, D. Elstner and G. Rüdiger

Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: nsdziourkevitch@aip.de

(Received 26 March 2004 / Accepted 5 July 2004)

The occurrence of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in vertically stratified galactic disks is considered. Global 3D nonlinear MHD simulations with the ZEUSMP code are performed in a cylindric computational domain. Due to the evolution of the MRI toroidal and poloidal components of the mean magnetic fields are generated. The results are also applied to very young galaxies which are assumed to possess strong magnetic fields already after a few 108 years. The dependence of MRI growth rate on the shear strength is shown. The velocity dispersion grows with height and reaches values of about 5 km s -1 in good agreement with observations and close to the predictions of Sellwood & Balbus (1999). For strong magnetic fields the MRI is suppressed but it is not suppressed by turbulence initially present in the disk.

Key words: MHD -- galaxies: magnetic fields -- galaxies: evolution

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