Gas stripping by radiation drag from an interstellar cloud

Jun'ichi Sato, Masayuki Umemura, Keisuke Sawada, Shingo Matsuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We perform two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation of gas stripping by radiation drag from interstellar clouds moving in uniform radiation fields. To include relativistic radiation drag properly, the radiation hydrodynamic equation is solved taking into account the dilution of radiation fields by the optical depth of the cloud. As a result, it is found that the optically thin surface layers are effectively stripped by radiation drag from an optically thick gas cloud, and, simultaneously, the stripped gas loses momentum. The momentum loss time-scale is found to be on the order of 108 yr under the intensive radiation fields expected in the early phase of galaxy evolution. The present results show that the radiation drag is an effective mechanism for extracting angular momentum from the interstellar medium and allows it to accrete on to the galactic centre. Mass accretion driven by radiation drag may lead to the formation of a central supermassive black hole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct 11
Externally publishedYes


  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxies: bulges
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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