Nordita Astrophysics Seminars

Interstellar dust in evolving 3D supernova shock waves

by Dr Lars Mattsson (Nordita)

112:028 ()


The evolution of supernova remnants (SNRs) is largely driven by the blast wave from the supernova explosion. Supernova shock waves are also responsible for most of the destruction of dust grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). We present high-resolution 3D hydrodynamic simulations of a supernova blast wave propagating through a homogenous dusty medium. We focus on large grains (a > 1micron), which are expected to have a good chance of surviving the passage of a supernova shock. Our first results show that some fraction of the grains are either pushed out of the swept up gas or not swept up together with the gas. We also see Rayleigh-Taylor and Richtmayr-Meshkov instabilities as well as signs of the Vishniac-Ostriker overstability forming in the shock region at relatively early times. This could, in theory, affect the dust dynamics, but we see no evidence for that in our simulations. Thus, we believe that the conventional 1D theory of interstellar dust destruction by supernovae must be a reasonable approximation for the homogenous case. Supernova shocks propagating into an inhomogeneous dusty medium is another story, however. We conclude by discussing ongoing work where we investigate the inhomogeneous case and effects caused by magnetic fields.