Schedule Sep 30, 2008
Dying Embers: Gas Consumption in the Milky Way
Brant Robertson (Univ. Chicago, KIPC)

The Milky Way has maintained a roughly constant star formation history for billions of years. Owing to uncertainties in the gas inflow rate, the gas consumption process, and the way neutral HI converts into molecular gas, how or why our Galaxy has stayed so even-tempered remains unclear. We use cosmological simulations to develop some intuition about the properties of the Milky Way at z~1. We then use hydrodynamical simulations of a Galaxy analogue in isolation with the Robertson &Kravtsov (2008) model for the molecular ISM to study how regulated star formation and gas consumption proceeded dynamically over the recent history of the Milky Way, and extrapolate our results to predict the fate of Galactic star formation in the future.

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