Dynamical evolution and ionization structure of an expanding superbubble: application to W4.
BASU S., JOHNSTONE D. and MARTIN P.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Recent observations have revealed a superbubble associated with the young stellar cluster OCl 352 near the W4 H II region: a void in H I emission, reported by Normandeau and coworkers, and a bright shell in Hα emission, reported by Dennison and coworkers. We investigate the hypothesis that the bubble is blown by stellar winds from the O-type stars in the association. The Kompaneets approximation is adapted to model a wind-blown bubble in a stratified interstellar medium. We describe some general principles necessary for understanding the dynamics of an expanding bubble and the associated ionization structure in a stratified atmosphere. The Kompaneets model can be used to determine the mean scale height of the ambient medium as well as the age of the bubble. The ionization structure also places constraints on the ambient density near the cluster. We also estimate the surface brightness of the shell and the fraction of ionizing photons that escape the bubble. The prescription we use can be applied to any observed bubble that is blown by the effectively continuous energy output of stellar winds or multiple supernovae. Application to the W4 superbubble shows that the mean scale height of the ambient gas around the cluster is remarkably small, 25 pc for a cluster distance of 2.35 kpc. The age of the bubble is estimated to be about 2.5 Myr, consistent with the notion that the bubble is blown by stellar winds from a very young cluster in which no supernovae have yet occurred.
ISM: H II Regions - ISM: Bubbles - ISM: Individual: Alphanumeric: W4 Supershell - Shock Waves - ISM: Supernova Remnants