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Feathering Instability in Spiral Arms

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Substructures of spiral arms are commonly found in many nearby disk galaxies. In particular, the spatial correlation among gaseous feathers, stellar spurs, and star-forming regions near the spiral arms are not well understood. In this talk, I will present some theoretical ideas to explain their formation by considering the instability of the spiral shock of the magnetized and self-gravitating interstellar medium. The normal mode analysis by Lee & Shu showed that unstable growing modes may lead to periodic density enhancements in the post-shock region, which reassemble the observed feathers. Some results from numerical simulations regarding the nonlinear evolution of this feathering instability will also be presented

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astro Mondays series.

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