Supernova induced processing of interstellar dust: impact of ISM gas density and gas turbulence

Florian Kirchschlager*, Lars Mattsson, Frederick A. Gent

*Corresponding author for this work

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Quantifying the efficiency of dust destruction in the interstellar medium (ISM) due to supernovae (SNe) is crucial for the understanding of galactic dust evolution. We present 3D hydrodynamic simulations of an SN blast wave propagating through the ISM. The interaction between the forward shock of the remnant and the surrounding ISM leads to destruction of ISM dust by the shock heated gas. We consider the dust processing due to ion sputtering, accretion of atoms/molecules and grain-grain collisions. Using 2D slices from the simulation timeseries, we apply post-processing calculations using the Paperboats code. We find that efficiency of dust destruction depends strongly on the rate of grain shattering due to grain-grain collisions. The effective dust destruction is similar to previous theoretical estimates when grain-grain collisions are omitted, but with grain shattering included, the net destruction efficiency is roughly one order of magnitude higher. This result indicates that the dust destruction rate in the ISM may have been severely underestimated in previous work, which only exacerbates the dust-budget crises seen in galaxies at high redshifts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3218–3234
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date22 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


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  • Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics

    Frederick Gent (Visiting researcher), Lars Mattsson (Visiting researcher), Florian Kirschlager (Visiting researcher), Nina Sanches Sartorio (Visiting researcher), Aurora Capobianco (Student) & Patrik Tengnér (Student)

    1 Jan 202331 Dec 2023

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

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