Document Type



Final Published Version

Publication Title

Bending waves excited by irregular gas inflow along warps



Publication Date



Gaia has revealed clear evidence of bending waves in the vertical kinematics of stars in the solar neighbourhood. We study bending waves in two simulations, one warped, with the warp due to misaligned gas inflow, and the other unwarped. We find slow, retrograde bending waves in both models, with the ones in the warped model having larger amplitudes. We also find fast, prograde bending waves. Prograde bending waves in the unwarped model are very weak, in agreement with the expectation that these waves should decay on short, approximately crossing, time-scales, due to strong winding. However, prograde bending waves are much stronger for the duration of the warped model, pointing to irregular gas inflow along the warp as a continuous source of excitation. We demonstrate that large-amplitude bending waves that propagate through the solar neighbourhood give rise to a correlation between the mean vertical velocity and the angular momentum, with a slope consistent with that found by Gaia. The bending waves affect populations of all ages, but the sharpest features are found in the young populations, hinting that short-wavelength waves are not supported by the older, kinematically hotter, populations. Our results demonstrate the importance of misaligned gas accretion as a recurrent source of vertical perturbations of disc galaxies, including in the Milky Way.