Posts Tagged ism

Recent Postings from ism

The chemical evolution of local star forming galaxies: Radial profiles of ISM metallicity, gas mass, and stellar mass and constraints on galactic accretion and winds

The radially averaged metallicity distribution of the ISM and the young stellar population of a sample of 20 disk galaxies is investigated by means of an analytical chemical evolution model which assumes constant ratios of galactic wind mass loss and accretion mass gain to star formation rate. Based on this model the observed metallicities and their gradients can be described surprisingly well by the radially averaged distribution of the ratio of stellar mass to ISM gas mass. The comparison between observed and model predicted metallicity is used to constrain the rate of mass loss through galactic wind and accretion gain in units of the star formation rate. Three groups of galaxies are found: galaxies with either mostly winds and only weak accretion, or mostly accretion and only weak winds, and galaxies where winds are roughly balanced by accretion. The three groups are distinct in the properties of their gas disks. Galaxies with approximately equal rates of mass-loss and accretion gain have low metallicity, atomic hydrogen dominated gas disks with a flat spatial profile. The other two groups have gas disks dominated by molecular hydrogen out to 0.5 to 0.7 isophotal radii and show a radial exponential decline, which is on average steeper for the galaxies with small accretion rates. The rates of accretion (<1.0 x SFR) and outflow (<2.4 x SFR) are relatively low. The latter depend on the calibration of the zero point of the metallicity determination from the use of HII region strong emission lines.

The Lyman Alpha Reference Sample: V. The impact of neutral ISM kinematics and geometry on Lyman Alpha escape

We present high-resolution far-UV spectroscopy of the 14 galaxies of the Lyman Alpha Reference Sample; a sample of strongly star-forming galaxies at low redshifts ($0.028 < z < 0.18$). We compare the derived properties to global properties derived from multi band imaging and 21 cm HI interferometry and single dish observations, as well as archival optical SDSS spectra. Besides the Lyman $\alpha$ line, the spectra contain a number of metal absorption features allowing us to probe the kinematics of the neutral ISM and evaluate the optical depth and and covering fraction of the neutral medium as a function of line-of-sight velocity. Furthermore, we show how this, in combination with precise determination of systemic velocity and good Ly$\alpha$ spectra, can be used to distinguish a model in which separate clumps together fully cover the background source, from the "picket fence" model named by Heckman et al. (2011). We find that no one single effect dominates in governing Ly$\alpha$ radiative transfer and escape. Ly$\alpha$ escape in our sample coincides with a maximum velocity-binned covering fraction of $\lesssim 0.9$ and bulk outflow velocities of $\gtrsim 50$ km s$^{-1}$, although a number of galaxies show these characteristics and yet little or no Ly$\alpha$ escape. We find that Ly$\alpha$ peak velocities, where available, are not consistent with a strong backscattered component, but rather with a simpler model of an intrinsic emission line overlaid by a blueshifted absorption profile from the outflowing wind. Finally, we find a strong anticorrelation between H$\alpha$ equivalent width and maximum velocity-binned covering factor, and propose a heuristic explanatory model.

The Lyman Alpha Reference Sample: V. The impact of neutral ISM kinematics and geometry on Lyman Alpha escape [Replacement]

We present high-resolution far-UV spectroscopy of the 14 galaxies of the Lyman Alpha Reference Sample; a sample of strongly star-forming galaxies at low redshifts ($0.028 < z < 0.18$). We compare the derived properties to global properties derived from multi band imaging and 21 cm HI interferometry and single dish observations, as well as archival optical SDSS spectra. Besides the Lyman $\alpha$ line, the spectra contain a number of metal absorption features allowing us to probe the kinematics of the neutral ISM and evaluate the optical depth and and covering fraction of the neutral medium as a function of line-of-sight velocity. Furthermore, we show how this, in combination with precise determination of systemic velocity and good Ly$\alpha$ spectra, can be used to distinguish a model in which separate clumps together fully cover the background source, from the "picket fence" model named by Heckman et al. (2011). We find that no one single effect dominates in governing Ly$\alpha$ radiative transfer and escape. Ly$\alpha$ escape in our sample coincides with a maximum velocity-binned covering fraction of $\lesssim 0.9$ and bulk outflow velocities of $\gtrsim 50$ km s$^{-1}$, although a number of galaxies show these characteristics and yet little or no Ly$\alpha$ escape. We find that Ly$\alpha$ peak velocities, where available, are not consistent with a strong backscattered component, but rather with a simpler model of an intrinsic emission line overlaid by a blueshifted absorption profile from the outflowing wind. Finally, we find a strong anticorrelation between H$\alpha$ equivalent width and maximum velocity-binned covering factor, and propose a heuristic explanatory model.

Correcting the record on the analysis of IBEX and STEREO data regarding variations in the neutral interstellar wind

The journey of the Sun through space carries the solar system through a dynamic interstellar environment that is presently characterized by Mach 1 motion between the heliosphere and the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). The interaction between the heliosphere and ISM is an evolving process due to the variable solar wind and to interstellar turbulence. Frisch et al. presented a meta-analysis of the historical data on the interstellar wind flowing through the heliosphere and concluded that temporal changes in the ecliptic longitude of the wind were statistically indicated by the data available in the refereed literature at the time of that writing. Lallement and Bertaux disagree with this result, and suggested, for instance, that a key instrumental response function of IBEX-Lo was incorrect and that the STEREO pickup ion data are unsuitable for diagnosing the flow of interstellar neutrals through the heliosphere. Here we show that temporal variations in the interstellar wind through the heliosphere are consistent with our knowledge of local ISM. The statistical analysis of the historical helium wind data is revisited, and a recent correction of a typographical error in the literature is incorporated into the new fits. With this correction, and including no newer IBEX results, these combined data still indicate that a change in the longitude of the interstellar neutral wind over the past forty years is statistically likely, but that a constant flow longitude is now also statistically possible. It is shown that the IBEX instrumental response function is known, and that the STEREO pickup ion data have been correctly utilized in this analysis.

Characterizing gravitational instability in turbulent multi-component galactic discs

Gravitational instabilities play an important role in galaxy evolution and in shaping the interstellar medium (ISM). The ISM is observed to be highly turbulent, meaning that observables like the gas surface density and velocity dispersion depend on the size of the region over which they are measured. In this work we investigate, using simulations of Milky Way-like disc galaxies with a resolution of $\sim 9$ pc, the nature of turbulence in the ISM and how this affects the gravitational stability of galaxies. By accounting for the measured average turbulent scalings of the density and velocity fields in the stability analysis, we can more robustly characterize the average level of stability of the galaxies as a function of scale, and in a straightforward manner identify scales prone to fragmentation. Furthermore, we find that the stability of a disc with feedback-driven turbulence can be well described by a "Toomre-like" $Q$ stability criterion on all scales, whereas the classical $Q$ can formally lose its meaning on small scales if violent disc instabilities occur in models lacking pressure support from stellar feedback.

Direct evidence for an evolving dust cloud from the exoplanet KIC 12557548 b

We present simultaneous multi-color optical photometry using ULTRACAM of the transiting exoplanet KIC 12557548 b (also known as KIC 1255 b). This reveals, for the first time, the color dependence of the transit depth. Our g and z transits are similar in shape to the average Kepler short-cadence profile, and constitute the highest-quality extant coverage of individual transits. Our Night 1 transit depths are 0.85 +/- 0.04% in z; 1.00 +/- 0.03% in g; and 1.1 +/- 0.3% in u. We employ a residual-permutation method to assess the impact of correlated noise on the depth difference between the z and g bands and calculate the significance of the color dependence at 3.2{\sigma}. The Night 1 depths are consistent with dust extinction as observed in the ISM, but require grain sizes comparable to the largest found in the ISM: 0.25-1{\mu}m. This provides direct evidence in favor of this object being a disrupting low-mass rocky planet, feeding a transiting dust cloud. On the remaining four nights of observations the object was in a rare shallow-transit phase. If the grain size in the transiting dust cloud changes as the transit depth changes, the extinction efficiency is expected to change in a wavelength- and composition-dependent way. Observing a change in the wavelength-dependent transit depth would offer an unprecedented opportunity to determine the composition of the disintegrating rocky body KIC 12557548 b. We detected four out-of-transit u band events consistent with stellar flares.

ALMA detection of [CII] 158 micron emission from a strongly lensed z=2 star-forming galaxy

Our objectives are to determine the properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) and of star-formation in typical star-forming galaxies at high redshift. Following up on our previous multi-wavelength observations with HST, Spitzer, Herschel, and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI), we have studied a strongly lensed z=2.013 galaxy, the arc behind the galaxy cluster MACS J0451+0006, with ALMA to measure the [CII] 158 micron emission line, one of the main coolants of the ISM. [CII] emission from the southern part of this galaxy is detected at 10 $\sigma$. Taking into account strong gravitational lensing, which provides a magnification of $\mu=49$, the intrinsic lensing-corrected [CII]158 micron luminosity is $L(CII)=1.2 \times 10^8 L_\odot$. The observed ratio of [CII]-to-IR emission, $L(CII)/L(FIR) \approx (1.2-2.4) \times 10^{-3}$, is found to be similar to that in nearby galaxies. The same also holds for the observed ratio $L(CII)/L(CO)=2.3 \times 10^3$, which is comparable to that of star-forming galaxies and active galaxy nuclei (AGN) at low redshift. We utilize strong gravitational lensing to extend diagnostic studies of the cold ISM to an order of magnitude lower luminosity ($L(IR) \sim (1.1-1.3) \times 10^{11} L_\odot$) and SFR than previous work at high redshift. While larger samples are needed, our results provide evidence that the cold ISM of typical high redshift galaxies has physical characteristics similar to normal star forming galaxies in the local Universe.

Turbulent energy dissipation and intermittency in ambipolar diffusion magnetohydrodynamics

The dissipation of kinetic and magnetic energy in the interstellar medium (ISM) can proceed through viscous, Ohmic or ambipolar diffusion (AD). It occurs at very small scales compared to the scales at which energy is presumed to be injected. This localized heating may impact the ISM evolution but also its chemistry, thus providing observable features. Here, we perform 3D spectral simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence including the effects of AD. We find that the AD heating power spectrum peaks at scales in the inertial range, due to a strong alignment of the magnetic and current vectors in the dissipative range. AD affects much greater scales than the AD scale predicted by dimensional analysis. We find that energy dissipation is highly concentrated on thin sheets. Its probability density function follows a lognormal law with a power-law tail which hints at intermittency, a property which we quantify by use of structure function exponents. Finally, we extract structures of high dissipation, defined as connected sets of points where the total dissipation is most intense and we measure the scaling exponents of their geometric and dynamical characteristics: the inclusion of AD favours small sizes in the dissipative range.

The Herschel Dwarf Galaxy Survey: I. Properties of the low-metallicity ISM from PACS spectroscopy

The far-infrared (FIR) lines are key tracers of the physical conditions of the interstellar medium (ISM) and are becoming workhorse diagnostics for galaxies throughout the universe. Our goal is to explain the differences and trends observed in the FIR line emission of dwarf galaxies compared to more metal-rich galaxies. We present Herschel PACS spectroscopic observations of the CII157um, OI63 and 145um, OIII88um, NII122 and 205um, and NIII57um fine-structure cooling lines in a sample of 48 low-metallicity star-forming galaxies of the guaranteed time key program Dwarf Galaxy Survey. We correlate PACS line ratios and line-to-LTIR ratios with LTIR, LTIR/LB, metallicity, and FIR color, and interpret the observed trends in terms of ISM conditions and phase filling factors with Cloudy radiative transfer models. We find that the FIR lines together account for up to 3 percent of LTIR and that star-forming regions dominate the overall emission in dwarf galaxies. Compared to metal-rich galaxies, the ratios of OIII/NII122 and NIII/NII122 are high, indicative of hard radiation fields. In the photodissociation region (PDR), the CII/OI63 ratio is slightly higher than in metal-rich galaxies, with a small increase with metallicity, and the OI145/OI63 ratio is generally lower than 0.1, demonstrating that optical depth effects should be small on the scales probed. The OIII/OI63 ratio can be used as an indicator of the ionized gas/PDR filling factor, and is found ~4 times higher in the dwarfs than in metal-rich galaxies. The high CII/LTIR, OI/LTIR, and OIII/LTIR ratios, which decrease with increasing LTIR and LTIR/LB, are interpreted as a combination of moderate FUV fields and low PDR covering factor. Harboring compact phases of low filling factor and a large volume filling factor of diffuse gas, the ISM of low-metallicity dwarf galaxies has a more porous structure than that in metal-rich galaxies.

Destruction of Interstellar Dust in Evolving Supernova Remnant Shock Waves

Supernova generated shock waves are responsible for most of the destruction of dust grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). Calculations of the dust destruction timescale have so far been carried out using plane parallel steady shocks, however that approximation breaks down when the destruction timescale becomes longer than that for the evolution of the supernova remnant (SNR) shock. In this paper we present new calculations of grain destruction in evolving, radiative SNRs. To facilitate comparison with the previous study by Jones et al. (1996), we adopt the same dust properties as in that paper. We find that the efficiencies of grain destruction are most divergent from those for a steady shock when the thermal history of a shocked gas parcel in the SNR differs significantly from that behind a steady shock. This occurs in shocks with velocities >~ 200 km/s for which the remnant is just beginning to go radiative. Assuming SNRs evolve in a warm phase dominated ISM, we find dust destruction timescales are increased by a factor of ~2 compared to those of Jones et al. (1996), who assumed a hot gas dominated ISM. Recent estimates of supernova rates and ISM mass lead to another factor of ~3 increase in the destruction timescales, resulting in a silicate grain destruction timescale of ~2-3 Gyr. These increases, while not able resolve the problem of the discrepant timescales for silicate grain destruction and creation, are an important step towards understanding the origin, and evolution of dust in the ISM.

A direct constraint on the gas content of a massive, passively evolving elliptical galaxy at z = 1.43

In comparison to gas and dust in star-forming galaxies at the peak epoch of galaxy assembly, which are presently the topic of intense study, little is known about the interstellar medium (ISM) of distant, passively evolving galaxies. We report on a deep 3 mm-band search with IRAM/PdBI for molecular gas in a massive ($M_{\star}{\sim}6{\times}10^{11}M_{\odot}$) elliptical galaxy at z=1.4277, the first observation of this kind ever attempted. We place a 3$\sigma$ upper limit of 0.30 Jy km/s on the flux of the CO($J$=$2\rightarrow$1) line or $L’_{\rm CO}$$<$8.3$\times$10$^{9}$ K km/s pc$^2$, assuming a line width in accordance with the stellar velocity dispersion of $\sigma_{\star}{\sim}330$ km/s. This translates to a molecular gas mass of $<$3.6$\times$10$^{10}$($\alpha_{\rm CO}$/4.4)$M_{\odot}$ or a gas fraction of $\lesssim$5% assuming a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF) and an ISM dominated by molecular gas, as observed in local early-type galaxies (ETGs). This low gas fraction approaches that of local ETGs, suggesting that the low star formation activity in massive, high-z passive galaxies reflects a true dearth of gas and a secondary role for inhibitive mechanisms like morphological quenching.

The outer filament of Centaurus A as seen by MUSE

We investigate signatures of a jet-interstellar medium (ISM) interaction using optical integral-field observations of the so-called outer filament near Centaurus A, expanding on previous results obtained on a more limited area. Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the VLT during science verification, we observed a significant fraction of the brighter emitting gas across the outer filament. The ionized gas shows complex morphology with compact blobs, arc-like structures and diffuse emission. Based on the kinematics, we identified three main components. The more collimated component is oriented along the direction of the radio jet. The other two components exhibit diffuse morphology together with arc-like structures also oriented along the radio jet direction. Furthermore, the ionization level of the gas is found to decrease from the more collimated component to the more diffuse components. The morphology and velocities of the more collimated component confirm our earlier results that the outer filament and the nearby HI cloud are likely partially shaped by the lateral expansion of the jet. The arc-like structures embedded within the two remaining components are the clearest evidence of a smooth jet-ISM interaction along the jet direction. This suggests that, although poorly collimated, the radio jet is still active and has an impact on the surrounding gas. This result indicates that the effect on the ISM of even low-power radio jets should be considered when studying the influence Active Galactic Nuclei can have on their host galaxy.

Towards simulating star formation in turbulent high-z galaxies with mechanical supernova feedback

Feedback from supernovae is essential to understanding the self-regulation of star formation in galaxies. However, the efficacy of the process in a cosmological context remains unclear due to excessive radiative losses during the shock propagation. To better understand the impact of SN explosions on the evolution of galaxies, we perform a suite of high-resolution (12 pc), zoom-in cosmological simulations of a Milky Way-like galaxy at z=3 with adaptive mesh refinement. We find that SN explosions can efficiently regulate star formation, leading to the stellar mass and metallicity consistent with the observed mass-metallicity relation and stellar mass-halo mass relation at z~3. This is achieved by making three important changes to the classical feedback scheme: i) the different phases of SN blast waves are modelled directly by injecting radial momentum expected at each stage, ii) the realistic time delay of SNe, commencing at as early as 3 Myr, is required to disperse very dense gas before a runaway collapse sets in at the galaxy centre via mergers of gas clumps, and iii) a non-uniform density distribution of the ISM is taken into account below the computational grid scale for the cell in which SN explodes. The last condition is motivated by the fact that our simulations still do not resolve the detailed structure of a turbulent ISM in which the fast outflows can propagate along low-density channels. The simulated galaxy with the SN feedback model shows strong outflows, which carry approximately ten times larger mass than star formation rate, as well as smoothly rising circular velocity. Other feedback models that do not meet the three conditions form too many stars, producing a peaked rotation curve. Our results suggest that understanding the structure of the turbulent ISM may be crucial to assess the role of SN and other feedback processes in galaxy formation theory. [abridged]

Investigations of supernovae and supernova remnants in the era of SKA

Two main physical mechanisms are used to explain supernova explosions: thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf(Type Ia) and core collapse of a massive star (Type II and Type Ib/Ic). Type Ia supernovae serve as distance indicators that led to the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. The exact nature of their progenitor systems however remain unclear. Radio emission from the interaction between the explosion shock front and its surrounding CSM or ISM provides an important probe into the progenitor star’s last evolutionary stage. No radio emission has yet been detected from Type Ia supernovae by current telescopes. The SKA will hopefully detect radio emission from Type Ia supernovae due to its much better sensitivity and resolution. There is a ‘supernovae rate problem’ for the core collapse supernovae because the optically dim ones are missed due to being intrinsically faint and/or due to dust obscuration. A number of dust-enshrouded optically hidden supernovae should be discovered via SKA1-MID/survey, especially for those located in the innermost regions of their host galaxies. Meanwhile, the detection of intrinsically dim SNe will also benefit from SKA1. The detection rate will provide unique information about the current star formation rate and the initial mass function. A supernova explosion triggers a shock wave which expels and heats the surrounding CSM and ISM, and forms a supernova remnant (SNR). It is expected that more SNRs will be discovered by the SKA. This may decrease the discrepancy between the expected and observed numbers of SNRs. Several SNRs have been confirmed to accelerate protons, the main component of cosmic rays, to very high energy by their shocks. This brings us hope of solving the Galactic cosmic ray origin’s puzzle by combining the low frequency (SKA) and very high frequency (Cherenkov Telescope Array: CTA) bands’ observations of SNRs.

AGN-stimulated Cooling of Hot Gas in Elliptical Galaxies

We study the impact of relatively weak AGN feedback on the interstellar medium of intermediate and massive elliptical galaxies. We find that the AGN activity, while globally heating the ISM, naturally stimulates some degree of hot gas cooling on scales of several kpc. This process generates the persistent presence of a cold ISM phase, with mass ranging between 10$^4$ and $\gtrsim$ 5 $\times$ 10$^7$ M$_\odot$, where the latter value is appropriate for group centered, massive galaxies. Widespread cooling occurs where the ratio of cooling to free-fall time before the activation of the AGN feedback satisfies $t_{cool}/t_{ff} \lesssim 70$, that is we find a less restrictive threshold than commonly quoted in the literature. This process helps explaining the body of observations of cold gas (both ionized and neutral/molecular) in Ellipticals and, perhaps, the residual star formation detected in many early-type galaxies. The amount and distribution of the off-center cold gas vary irregularly with time. The cold ISM velocity field is irregular, initially sharing the (outflowing) turbulent hot gas motion. Typical velocity dispersions of the cold gas lie in the range 100-200 km/s. Freshly generated cold gas often forms a cold outflow and can appear kinematically misaligned with respect to the stars. We also follow the dust evolution in the hot and cold gas. We find that the internally generated cold ISM has a very low dust content, with representative values of the dust-to-gas ratio of 10$^{-4}$- 10$^{-5}$. Therefore, this cold gas can escape detection in the traditional dust-absorption maps.

The Physics of the Cold Neutral Medium: Low-frequency Carbon Radio Recombination Lines with the Square Kilometre Array

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will transform our understanding of the role of the cold, atomic gas in galaxy evolution. The interstellar medium (ISM) is the repository of stellar ejecta and the birthsite of new stars and, hence, a key factor in the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. Cold, diffuse, atomic clouds are a key component of the ISM, but so far this phase has been difficult to study, because its main tracer, the HI 21 cm line, does not constrain the basic physical information of the gas (e.g., temperature, density) well. The SKA opens up the opportunity to study this component of the ISM through a complementary tracer in the form of low-frequency (<350 MHz) carbon radio recombination lines (CRRL). These CRRLs provide a sensitive probe of the physical conditions in cold, diffuse clouds. The superb sensitivity, large field of view, frequency resolution and coverage of the SKA allows for efficient surveys of the sky, that will revolutionize the field of low-frequency recombination line studies. By observing these lines with the SKA we will be able determine the thermal balance, chemical enrichment, and ionization rate of the cold, atomic medium from degree-scales down to scales corresponding to individual clouds and filaments in our Galaxy, the Magellanic Clouds and beyond. Furthermore, being sensitive only to the cold, atomic gas, observations of low-frequency CRRLs with the SKA will aid in disentangling the warm and cold constituents of the HI 21 cm emission.

Magnetic Field Tomography in Nearby Galaxies with the Square Kilometre Array

Magnetic fields play an important role in shaping the structure and evolution of the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies, but the details of this relationship remain unclear. With SKA1, the 3D structure of galactic magnetic fields and its connection to star formation will be revealed. A highly sensitive probe of the internal structure of the magnetoionized ISM is the partial depolarization of synchrotron radiation from inside the volume. Different configurations of magnetic field and ionized gas within the resolution element of the telescope lead to frequency-dependent changes in the observed degree of polarization. The results of spectro-polarimetric observations are tied to physical structure in the ISM through comparison with detailed modeling, supplemented with the use of new analysis techniques that are being actively developed and studied within the community such as Rotation Measure Synthesis. The SKA will enable this field to come into its own and begin the study of the detailed structure of the magnetized ISM in a sample of nearby galaxies, thanks to its extraordinary wideband capabilities coupled with the combination of excellent surface brightness sensitivity and angular resolution.

Structure, dynamical impact and origin of magnetic fields in nearby galaxies in the SKA era

Magnetic fields are an important ingredient of the interstellar medium (ISM). Besides their importance for star formation, they govern the transport of cosmic rays, relevant to the launch and regulation of galactic outflows and winds, which in turn are pivotal in shaping the structure of halo magnetic fields. Mapping the small-scale structure of interstellar magnetic fields in many nearby galaxies is crucial to understand the interaction between gas and magnetic fields, in particular how gas flows are affected. Elucidation of the magnetic role in, e.g., triggering star formation, forming and stabilising spiral arms, driving outflows, gas heating by reconnection and magnetising the intergalactic medium has the potential to revolutionise our physical picture of the ISM and galaxy evolution in general. Radio polarisation observations in the very nearest galaxies at high frequencies (>= 3 GHz) and with high spatial resolution (<= 5") hold the key here. The galaxy survey with SKA1 that we propose will also be a major step to understand the galactic dynamo, which is important for models of galaxy evolution and for astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics in general. Field amplification by turbulent gas motions, which is crucial for efficient dynamo action, has been investigated so far only in simulations, while compelling evidence of turbulent fields from observations is still lacking.

Magnetized jets driven by the sun: the structure of the heliosphere revisited [Replacement]

The classic accepted view of the heliosphere is a quiescent, comet-like shape aligned in the direction of the Sun’s travel through the interstellar medium (ISM) extending for 1000′s of AUs (AU: astronomical unit). Here we show, based on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, that the tension (hoop) force of the twisted magnetic field of the sun confines the solar wind plasma beyond the termination shock and drives jets to the North and South very much like astrophysical jets. These jets are deflected into the tail region by the motion of the Sun through the ISM similar to bent galactic jets moving through the intergalactic medium. The interstellar wind blows the two jets into the tail but is not strong enough to force the lobes into a single comet-like tail, as happens to some astrophysical jets (Morsony et al. 2013). Instead, the interstellar wind flows around the heliosphere and into equatorial region between the two jets. As in some astrophysical jets that are kink unstable (Porth et al. 2014) we show here that the heliospheric jets are turbulent (due to large-scale MHD instabilities and reconnection) and strongly mix the solar wind with the ISM beyond 400 AU. The resulting turbulence has important implications for particle acceleration in the heliosphere. The two-lobe structure is consistent with the energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) images of the heliotail from IBEX (McComas et al. 2013) where two lobes are visible in the North and South and the suggestion from the CASSINI (Krimigis et al. 2009, Dialynas et al. 2013) ENAs that the heliosphere is "tailless".

Magnetized jets driven by the sun: the structure of the heliosphere revisited

The classic accepted view of the heliosphere is a quiescent, comet-like shape aligned in the direction of the Sun’s travel through the interstellar medium (ISM) extending for 1000′s of AUs (AU: astronomical unit). Here we show, based on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, that the twisted magnetic field of the sun confines the solar wind plasma and drives jets to the North and South very much like astrophysical jets. These jets are deflected into the tail region by the motion of the Sun through the ISM similar to bent galactic jets moving through the intergalactic medium. The interstellar wind blows the two jets into the tail but is not strong enough to force the lobes into a single comet-like tail, as happens to some astrophysical jets (Morsony et al. 2013). Instead, the interstellar wind flows around the heliosphere and into equatorial region between the two jets. While relativistic jets may be stable, non-relativistic astrophysical jets are kink unstable (Porth et al. 2014) and we show here that the heliospheric jets are turbulent (due to large-scale MHD instabilities and reconnection) and strongly mix the solar wind with the ISM beyond 400AU. The resulting turbulence has important implications for particle acceleration in the heliosphere. The two-lobe structure is consistent with the energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) images of the heliotail from IBEX (McComas et al. 2013) where two lobes are visible in the North and South and the suggestion from the CASSINI (Krimigis et al. 2009, Dialynas et al. 2013) ENAs that the heliosphere is "tailless’".

Modelling galaxy spectra in presence of interstellar dust-III. From nearby galaxies to the distant Universe

Improving upon the standard evolutionary population synthesis (EPS) technique, we present spectrophotometric models of galaxies whose morphology goes from spherical structures to discs, properly accounting for the effect of dust in the interstellar medium (ISM). These models enclose three main physical components: the diffuse ISM composed by gas and dust, the complexes of molecular clouds (MCs) where active star formation occurs and the stars of any age and chemical composition. These models are based on robust evolutionary chemical models that provide the total amount of gas and stars present at any age and that are adjusted in order to match the gross properties of galaxies of different morphological type. We have employed the results for the properties of the ISM presented in Piovan, Tantalo & Chiosi (2006a) and the single stellar populations calculated by Cassar\`a et al. (2013) to derive the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of galaxies going from pure bulge to discs passing through a number of composite systems with different combinations of the two components. The first part of the paper is devoted to recall the technical details of the method and the basic relations driving the interaction between the physical components of the galaxy. Then, the main parameters are examined and their effects on the spectral energy distribution of three prototype galaxies are highlighted. We conclude analyzing the capability of our galaxy models in reproducing the SEDs of real galaxies in the Local Universe and as a function of redshift.

The Interstellar Medium and star formation on kpc size scales

By resimulating a region of a global disc simulation at higher resolution, we resolve and study the properties of molecular clouds with a range of masses from a few 100′s M$_{\odot}$ to $10^6$ M$_{\odot}$. The purpose of our paper is twofold, i) to compare the ISM and GMCs at much higher resolution compared to previous global simulations, and ii) to investigate smaller clouds and characteristics such as the internal properties of GMCs which cannot be resolved in galactic simulations. We confirm the robustness of cloud properties seen in previous galactic simulations, and that these properties extend to lower mass clouds, though we caution that velocity dispersions may not be measured correctly in poorly resolved clouds. We find that the properties of the clouds and ISM are only weakly dependent on the details of local stellar feedback, although stellar feedback is important to produce realistic star formation rates and agreement with the Schmidt-Kennicutt relation. We study internal properties of GMCs resolved by $10^4-10^5$ particles. The clouds are highly structured, but we find clouds have a velocity dispersion radius relationship which overall agrees with the Larson relation. The GMCs show evidence of multiple episodes of star formation, with holes corresponding to previous feedback events and dense regions likely to imminently form stars. Our simulations show clearly long filaments, which are seen predominantly in the inter-arm regions, and shells.

Variations of the ISM Conditions Across the Main Sequence of Star-Forming Galaxies: Observations and Simulations

(abridged) Significant evidence has been gathered suggesting the existence of a main sequence (MS) of star-forming galaxies that relates their star formation rate and their stellar mass: $SFR \propto M_*^{\alpha}$. Several ideas have been suggested to explain fundamental properties of the MS, such as its slope, its dispersion, and its evolution with redshift. However, no consensus has been reached regarding its true nature, or whether the membership of particular galaxies to this MS implies the existence of two different modes of star formation. In order to advance our understanding of the MS, here we use a statistically robust Bayesian Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) analysis (CHIBURST) to consistently analyze the star-forming properties of a set of hydro-dynamical simulations of mergers, as well as observations of real mergers and luminous galaxies, both local and at intermediate redshift. We find a very tight correlation between the specific star formation rate (sSFR) of our fitted galaxies, and the typical conditions of the star-forming interstellar medium (ISM), parametrized via a novel quantity: the compactness parameter C, that controls the evolution of dust temperature with time. The normalization of this correlation is bimodal, and such bi-modality relates to the membership of individual galaxies to the MS. As mergers move into the coalescence phase, they increase their compactness and sSFR, creating a scatter in the MS that we measure to be 0.38 dex. The increase in compactness implies that the physical conditions of the ISM smoothly evolve across the MS. One possible interpretation for the slope of the log sSFR- log C correlation is that systems with higher sSFR have smaller physical sizes, whereas the bi-modality between MS objects and outliers suggests the existence of two different regimes of star formation, with distinct ISM conditions.

The SILCC (SImulating the LifeCycle of molecular Clouds) project: I. Chemical evolution of the supernova-driven ISM

The SILCC project (SImulating the Life-Cycle of molecular Clouds) aims at a more self-consistent understanding of the interstellar medium (ISM) on small scales and its link to galaxy evolution. We simulate the evolution of the multi-phase ISM in a 500 pc x 500 pc x 10 kpc region of a galactic disc, with a gas surface density of $\Sigma_{_{\rm GAS}} = 10 \;{\rm M}_\odot/{\rm pc}^2$. The Flash 4.1 simulations include an external potential, self-gravity, magnetic fields, heating and radiative cooling, time-dependent chemistry of H$_2$ and CO considering (self-) shielding, and supernova (SN) feedback. We explore SN explosions at different (fixed) rates in high-density regions (peak), in random locations (random), in a combination of both (mixed), or clustered in space and time (clustered). Only random or clustered models with self-gravity (which evolve similarly) are in agreement with observations. Molecular hydrogen forms in dense filaments and clumps and contributes 20% – 40% to the total mass, whereas most of the mass (55% – 75%) is in atomic hydrogen. The ionised gas contributes <10%. For high SN rates (0.5 dex above Kennicutt-Schmidt) as well as for peak and mixed driving the formation of H$_2$ is strongly suppressed. Also without self-gravity the H$_2$ fraction is significantly lower ($\sim$ 5%). Most of the volume is filled with hot gas ($\sim$90% within $\pm$2 kpc). Only for random or clustered driving, a vertically expanding warm component of atomic hydrogen indicates a fountain flow. Magnetic fields have little impact on the final disc structure. However, they affect dense gas ($n\gtrsim 10\;{\rm cm}^{-3}$) and delay H$_2$ formation. We highlight that individual chemical species, in particular atomic hydrogen, populate different ISM phases and cannot be accurately accounted for by simple temperature-/density-based phase cut-offs.

Deuterium Enrichment of the Interstellar Medium

Despite low elemental abundance of atomic deuterium in interstellar medium (ISM), observational evidences suggest that several species in gas-phase and in ices could be heavily fractionated. We explore various aspects of deuterium enrichment by constructing a chemical evolution model in gas and grain phases. Depending on various physical parameters, gas and grains are allowed to interact with each other through exchange of their chemical species. It is known that HCO+ and N2H+ are two abundant gas phase ions in ISM and their deuterium fractionation are generally used to predict degree of ionization in various regions of a molecular cloud. To have a more realistic estimation, we consider a density profile of a collapsing cloud. We present radial distributions of important interstellar molecules along with their deuterated isotopomers. We carry out quantum chemical simulation to study effects of isotopic substitution on spectral properties of these important interstellar species. We calculate vibrational (harmonic) frequency of the most important deuterated species (neutral & ions). Rotational and distortional constants of these molecules are also computed to predict rotational transitions of these species. We compare vibrational (harmonic) and rotational transitions as computed by us with existing observational, experimental and theoretical results. We hope that our results would assist observers in their quest of several hitherto unobserved deuterated species.

ASTRO-H White Paper - Older Supernova Remnants and Pulsar Wind Nebulae

Most supernova remnants (SNRs) are old, in the sense that their structure has been profoundly modified by their interaction with the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). Old SNRs are very heterogenous in terms of their appearance, reflecting differences in their evolutionary state, the environments in which SNe explode and in the explosion products. Some old SNRs are seen primarily as a result of a strong shock wave interacting with the ISM. Others, the so-called mixed-morphology SNRs, show central concentrations of emission, which may still show evidence of emission from the ejecta. Yet others, the pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe), are seen primarily as a result of emission powered by a pulsar; these SNRs often lack the detectable thermal emission from the primary shock. The underlying goal in all studies of old SNRs is to understand these differences, in terms of the SNe that created them, the nature of the ISM into which they are expanding, and the fundamental physical processes that govern their evolution. Here we identify three areas of study where ASTRO-H can make important contributions. These are constraining abundances and physical processes in mature limb-brightened SNRs, understanding the puzzling nature of mixed-morphology SNRs, and exploring the nature of PWNe. The Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS) on-board ASTRO-H will, as a result of its high spectral resolution, be the primary tool for addressing problems associated with old SNRs, supported by hard X-ray observations with the Hard X-ray Imager (HXI) to obtain broad band X-ray coverage.

Radio jets clearing the way through galaxies: the view from HI and molecular gas

Massive gas outflows are considered a key component in the process of galaxy formation and evolution. Because of this, they are the topic of many studies aimed at learning more about their occurrence, location and physical conditions as well as the mechanism(s) at their origin. This contribution presents recent results on two of the best examples of jet-driven outflows traced by cold and molecular gas. Thanks to high-spatial resolution observations, we have been able to locate the region where the outflow occurs. This appears to be coincident with bright radio features and regions where the interaction between radio plasma jet and ISM is known to occur, thus strongly supporting the idea of jet-driven outflows. We have also imaged the distribution of the outflowing gas. The results clearly show the effect that expanding radio jets and lobes have on the ISM. This appears to be in good agreement with what predicted from numerical simulations. Furthermore, the results show that cold gas is associated with these powerful phenomena and can be formed – likely via efficient cooling – even after a strong interaction and fast shocks. The discovery of similar fast outflows of cold gas in weak radio sources is further increasing the relevance that the effect of the radio plasma can have on the surrounding medium and on the host galaxy.

The cycling of carbon into and out of dust

Observational evidence seems to indicate that the depletion of interstellar carbon into dust shows rather wide variations and that carbon undergoes rather rapid recycling in the interstellar medium (ISM). Small hydrocarbon grains are processed in photo-dissociation regions by UV photons, by ion and electron collisions in interstellar shock waves and by cosmic rays. A significant fraction of hydrocarbon dust must therefore be re-formed by accretion in the dense, molecular ISM. A new dust model (Jones et al., Astron. Astrophys., 2013, 558, A62) shows that variations in the dust observables in the diffuse interstellar medium (nH = 1000 cm^3), can be explained by systematic and environmentally-driven changes in the small hydrocarbon grain population. Here we explore the consequences of gas-phase carbon accretion onto the surfaces of grains in the transition regions between the diffuse ISM and molecular clouds (e.g., Jones, Astron. Astrophys., 2013, 555, A39). We find that significant carbonaceous dust re-processing and/or mantle accretion can occur in the outer regions of molecular clouds and that this dust will have significantly different optical properties from the dust in the adjacent diffuse ISM. We conclude that the (re-)processing and cycling of carbon into and out of dust is perhaps the key to advancing our understanding of dust evolution in the ISM.

Dust and Gas in the Magellanic Clouds from the HERITAGE Herschel Key Project. II. Gas-to-Dust Ratio Variations across ISM Phases

The spatial variations of the gas-to-dust ratio (GDR) provide constraints on the chemical evolution and lifecycle of dust in galaxies. We examine the relation between dust and gas at 10-50 pc resolution in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) based on Herschel far-infrared (FIR), H I 21 cm, CO, and Halpha observations. In the diffuse atomic ISM, we derive the gas-to-dust ratio as the slope of the dust-gas relation and find gas-to-dust ratios of 380+250-130 in the LMC, and 1200+1600-420 in the SMC, not including helium. The atomic-to-molecular transition is located at dust surface densities of 0.05 Mo pc-2 in the LMC and 0.03 Mo pc-2 in the SMC, corresponding to AV ~ 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. We investigate the range of CO-to-H2 conversion factor to best account for all the molecular gas in the beam of the observations, and find upper limits on XCO to be 6×1020 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the LMC (Z=0.5Zo) at 15 pc resolution, and 4x 1021 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the SMC (Z=0.2Zo) at 45 pc resolution. In the LMC, the slope of the dust-gas relation in the dense ISM is lower than in the diffuse ISM by a factor ~2, even after accounting for the effects of CO-dark H2 in the translucent envelopes of molecular clouds. Coagulation of dust grains and the subsequent dust emissivity increase in molecular clouds, and/or accretion of gas-phase metals onto dust grains, and the subsequent dust abundance (dust-to-gas ratio) increase in molecular clouds could explain the observations. In the SMC, variations in the dust-gas slope caused by coagulation or accretion are degenerate with the effects of CO-dark H2. Within the expected 5–20 times Galactic XCO range, the dust-gas slope can be either constant or decrease by a factor of several across ISM phases. Further modeling and observations are required to break the degeneracy between dust grain coagulation, accretion, and CO-dark H2.

The chemical signature of surviving Population III stars in the Milky Way

Cosmological simulations of Population (Pop) III star formation suggest that the primordial initial mass function may have extended to sub-solar masses. If Pop III stars with masses < 0.8 M_Sun did form, then they should still be present in the Galaxy today as either main sequence or red giant stars. To date, however, despite searches for metal-poor stars in both the halo and the bulge of the Milky Way, no primordial stars have been identified. It has long been recognized that the initial metal-free nature of primordial stars could be masked due to accretion of metal-enriched material from the interstellar medium (ISM) over the course of their long lifetimes. Here we point out that while gas accretion from the ISM may readily occur, the accretion of dust from the ISM can be prevented due to the pressure of the radiation emitted from low-mass stars. This implies a possible unique chemical signature for stars polluted only via accretion, namely an enhancement in gas phase elements relative to those in the dust phase. Using Pop III stellar models, we outline the conditions in which this signature could be exhibited, and we derive the expected signature for the case of accretion from the local ISM. Intriguingly, due to the large fraction of iron depleted into dust relative to that of carbon and other elements, this signature is similar to that observed in many of the so-called carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars. We therefore suggest that some fraction of the observed CEMP stars may, in fact, be accretion-polluted Pop III stars. We find, more broadly, that this effect could also be at play in accretion flows onto protostars, implying that it may also impact the chemical signatures of second generation (Pop II) stars.

The chemical signature of surviving Population III stars in the Milky Way [Replacement]

Cosmological simulations of Population (Pop) III star formation suggest that the primordial initial mass function may have extended to sub-solar masses. If Pop III stars with masses < 0.8 M_Sun did form, then they should still be present in the Galaxy today as either main sequence or red giant stars. To date, however, despite searches for metal-poor stars in both the halo and the bulge of the Milky Way, no primordial stars have been identified. It has long been recognized that the initial metal-free nature of primordial stars could be masked due to accretion of metal-enriched material from the interstellar medium (ISM) over the course of their long lifetimes. Here we point out that while gas accretion from the ISM may readily occur, the accretion of dust from the ISM can be prevented due to the pressure of the radiation emitted from low-mass stars. This implies a possible unique chemical signature for stars polluted only via accretion, namely an enhancement in gas phase elements relative to those in the dust phase. Using Pop III stellar models, we outline the conditions in which this signature could be exhibited, and we derive the expected signature for the case of accretion from the local ISM. Intriguingly, due to the large fraction of iron depleted into dust relative to that of carbon and other elements, this signature is similar to that observed in many of the so-called carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars. We therefore suggest that some fraction of the observed CEMP stars may, in fact, be accretion-polluted Pop III stars. We find, more broadly, that this effect could also be at play in accretion flows onto protostars, implying that it may also impact the chemical signatures of second generation (Pop II) stars.

Interaction between the IGM and a dwarf galaxy

Dwarf Galaxies are the most common objects in the Universe and are believed to contain large amounts of dark matter. There are mainly three morphologic types of dwarf galaxies: dwarf ellipticals, dwarf spheroidals and dwarf irregulars. Dwarf irregular galaxies are particularly interesting in dwarf galaxy evolution, since dwarf spheroidal predecessors could have been very similar to them. Therefore, a mechanism linked to gas-loss in dwarf irregulars should be observed, i.e. ram pressure stripping. In this paper, we study the interaction between the ISM of a dwarf galaxy, and a flowing IGM. We derive the weak-shock, plasmon solution corresponding to the balance between the post-bow shock pressure and the pressure of the stratified ISM (which we assume follows the fixed stratification of a gravitationally dominant dark matter halo). We compare our model with previously published numerical simulations and with the observed shape of the HI cloud around the Ho II and Pegasus dwarf irregular galaxies. We show that such a comparison provides a straightforward way for estimating the Mach number of the impinging flow.

The frequency and nature of `cloud-cloud collisions' in galaxies

We investigate cloud-cloud collisions, and GMC evolution, in hydrodynamic simulations of isolated galaxies. The simulations include heating and cooling of the ISM, self–gravity and stellar feedback. Over timescales $<5$ Myr most clouds undergo no change, and mergers and splits are found to be typically two body processes, but evolution over longer timescales is more complex and involves a greater fraction of intercloud material. We find that mergers, or collisions, occur every 8-10 Myr (1/15th of an orbit) in a simulation with spiral arms, and once every 28 Myr (1/5th of an orbit) with no imposed spiral arms. Both figures are higher than expected from analytic estimates, as clouds are not uniformly distributed in the galaxy. Thus clouds can be expected to undergo between zero and a few collisions over their lifetime. We present specific examples of cloud–cloud interactions in our results, including synthetic CO maps. We would expect cloud–cloud interactions to be observable, but find they appear to have little or no impact on the ISM. Due to a combination of the clouds’ typical geometries, and moderate velocity dispersions, cloud–cloud interactions often better resemble a smaller cloud nudging a larger cloud. Our findings are consistent with the view that spiral arms make little difference to overall star formation rates in galaxies, and we see no evidence that collisions likely produce massive clusters. However, to confirm the outcome of such massive cloud collisions we ideally need higher resolution simulations.

Modelling the supernova-driven ISM in different environments

We use hydrodynamical simulations in a $(256\;{\rm pc})^3$ periodic box to model the impact of supernova (SN) explosions on the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) for initial densities $n =$ 0.5-30 cm$^{-3}$ and SN rates 1-720 Myr$^{-1}$. We include radiative cooling, diffuse heating, and the formation of molecular gas using a chemical network. The SNe explode either at random positions, at density peaks, or both. We further present a model combining thermal energy for resolved and momentum input for unresolved SN remnants. Random driving at high SN rates results in hot gas ($T\gtrsim 10^6$ K) filling $> 90$% of the volume. This gas reaches high pressures ($10^4 < P/k_\mathrm{B} < 10^7$ K cm$^{-3}$) due to the combination of SN explosions in the hot, low density medium and confinement in the periodic box. These pressures move the gas from a two-phase equilibrium to the single-phase, cold branch of the cooling curve. The molecular hydrogen dominates the mass ($>50$%), residing in small, dense clumps. Such a model might resemble the dense ISM in high-redshift galaxies. Peak driving results in huge radiative losses, but disrupts the densest regions by construction, producing a filamentary ISM with virtually no hot gas, and a small molecular hydrogen mass fraction ($\ll 1$%). Varying the ratio of peak to random SNe yields ISM properties in between the two extremes, with a sharp transition for equal contributions (at $n = 3$ cm$^{-3}$). Modern galaxies have few SNe in density peak locations due to preceding stellar winds and ionisation. The velocity dispersion in HI remains $\lesssim 10$ km s$^{-1}$ in all cases. For peak driving the velocity dispersion in H$_\alpha$ can be as high as $70$ km s$^{-1}$ due to the contribution from young, embedded SN remnants.

Shell-Shocked: The Interstellar Medium Near Cygnus X-1

We conduct a detailed case-study of the interstellar shell near the high-mass X-ray binary, Cygnus X-1. We present new WIYN optical spectroscopic and Chandra X-ray observations of this region, which we compare with detailed MAPPINGS III shock models, to investigate the outflow powering the shell. Our analysis places improved, physically motivated constraints on the nature of the shockwave and the interstellar medium (ISM) it is plowing through. We find that the shock is traveling at less than a few hundred km/s through a low-density ISM (< 5 cm^-3). We calculate a robust, 3 sigma upper limit to the total, time-averaged power needed to drive the shockwave and inflate the bubble, < 2 x 10^38 erg/s. We then review possible origins of the shockwave. We find that a supernova origin to the shockwave is unlikely and that the black hole jet and/or O-star wind can both be central drivers of the shockwave. We conclude that the source of the Cygnus X-1 shockwave is far from solved.

Star formation quenching in simulated group and cluster galaxies: When, how, and why?

Star formation is observed to be suppressed in group and cluster galaxies compared to the field. To gain insight into the quenching process, we have analysed ~2000 galaxies formed in the GIMIC suite of cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. The time of quenching varies from ~2 Gyr before accretion (first crossing of r200,c) to >4 Gyr after, depending on satellite and host mass. Once begun, quenching is rapid (>~ 500 Myr) in low-mass galaxies (M* < 10^10 M_Sun), but significantly more protracted for more massive satellites. The simulations predict a substantial role of outflows driven by ram pressure — but not tidal forces — in removing the star-forming interstellar matter (ISM) from satellite galaxies, especially dwarfs (M* ~ 10^9 M_Sun) where they account for nearly two thirds of ISM loss in both groups and clusters. Immediately before quenching is complete, this fraction rises to ~80% even for Milky Way analogues (M* ~ 10^10.5 M_Sun) in groups (M_host ~ 10^13.5 M_Sun). We show that (i) ISM stripping was significantly more effective at early times than at z = 0; (ii) approximately half the gas is stripped from `galactic fountains’ and half directly from the star forming disk; (iii) galaxies undergoing stripping experience ram pressure up to ~100 times the average at a given group/cluster-centric radius, because they are preferentially located in overdense ICM regions. Remarkably, stripping causes at most half the loss of the extended gas haloes surrounding our simulated satellites. These results contrast sharply with the current picture of strangulation — removal of the ISM through star formation after stripping of the hot halo — being the dominant mechanism quenching group and cluster satellites.

[CII] absorption and emission in the diffuse interstellar medium across the Galactic Plane

Ionized carbon is the main gas-phase reservoir of carbon in the neutral diffuse interstellar medium and its 158 micron fine structure transition [CII] is the most important cooling line of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We combine [CII] absorption and emission spectroscopy to gain an improved understanding of physical conditions in the different phases of the ISM. We present high resolution [CII] spectra obtained with the Herschel/HIFI instrument towards bright dust continuum sources regions in the Galactic plane, probing simultaneously the diffuse gas along the line of sight and the background high-mass star forming regions. These data are complemented by observations of the 492 and 809 GHz fine structure lines of atomic carbon and by medium spectral resolution spectral maps of the fine structure lines of atomic oxygen at 63 and 145 microns with Herschel/PACS. We show that the presence of foreground absorption may completely cancel the emission from the background source in medium spectral resolution data and that high spectral resolution spectra are needed to interpret the [CII] and [OI] emission and the [CII]/FIR ratio. This phenomenon may explain part of the [CII]/FIR deficit seen in external luminous infrared galaxies. The C+ and C excitation in the diffuse gas is consistent with a median pressure of 5900 Kcm-3 for a mean TK ~100 K. The knowledge of the gas density allows us to determine the filling factor of the absorbing gas along the selected lines of sight: the median value is 2.4 %, in good agreement with the CNM properties. The mean excitation temperature is used to derive the average cooling due to C+ in the Galactic plane : 9.5 x 10^{-26} erg/s/H. Along the observed lines of sight, the gas phase carbon abundance does not exhibit a strong gradient as a function of Galacto-centric radius and has a weighted average of C/H = 1.5 +/- 0.4 x 10^{-4}.

The onset of large scale turbulence in the interstellar medium of spiral galaxies

Turbulence is ubiquitous in the interstellar medium (ISM) of the Milky Way and other spiral galaxies. The energy source for this turbulence has been much debated with many possible origins proposed. The universality of turbulence, its reported large-scale driving, and that it occurs also in starless molecular clouds, challenges models invoking any stellar source. A more general process is needed to explain the observations. In this work we study the role of galactic spiral arms. This is accomplished by means of three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations which follow the dynamical evolution of interstellar diffuse clouds (100cm-3) interacting with the gravitational potential field of the spiral pattern. We find that the tidal effects of the arm’s potential on the cloud result in internal vorticity, fragmentation and hydrodynamical instabilities. The triggered turbulence result in large-scale driving, on sizes of the ISM inhomogeneities, i.e. as large as 100pc, and efficiencies in converting potential energy into turbulence in the range 10 to 25 percent per arm crossing. This efficiency is much higher than those found in previous models. The statistics of the turbulence in our simulations are strikingly similar to the observed power spectrum and Larson scaling relations of molecular clouds and the general ISM. The dependency found from different models indicate that the ISM turbulence is mainly related to local spiral arm properties, such as its mass density and width. This correlation seems in agreement with recent high angular resolution observations of spiral galaxies, e.g. M51 and M33.

Detection of a branched alkyl molecule in the interstellar medium: iso-propyl cyanide

The largest non-cyclic molecules detected in the interstellar medium (ISM) are organic with a straight-chain carbon backbone. We report an interstellar detection of a branched alkyl molecule, iso-propyl cyanide (i-C3H7CN), with an abundance 0.4 times that of its straight-chain structural isomer. This detection suggests that branched carbon-chain molecules may be generally abundant in the ISM. Our astrochemical model indicates that both isomers are produced within or upon dust grain ice mantles through the addition of molecular radicals, albeit via differing reaction pathways. The production of iso-propyl cyanide appears to require the addition of a functional group to a non-terminal carbon in the chain. Its detection therefore bodes well for the presence in the ISM of amino acids, for which such side-chain structure is a key characteristic.

Galactic fountains and outflows in star forming dwarf galaxies: ISM expulsion and chemical enrichment

We investigated the impact of supernova feedback in gas-rich dwarf galaxies experiencing a low-to-moderate star formation rate, typical of relatively quiescent phases between starbursts. We calculated the long term evolution of the ISM and the metal-rich SN ejecta using 3D hydrodynamic simulations, in which the feedback energy is deposited by SNeII exploding in distinct OB associations. We found that a circulation flow similar to galactic fountains is generally established, with some ISM lifted at heights of one to few kpc above the galactic plane. This gas forms an extra-planar layer, which falls back to the plane in about $10^8$ yr, once the star formation stops. Very little or no ISM is expelled outside the galaxy system for the considered SFRs, even though in the most powerful model the SN energy is comparable to the gas binding energy. The metal-rich SN ejecta is instead more vulnerable to the feedback and we found that a significant fraction (25-80\%) is vented in the intergalactic medium, even for low SN rate ($7\times 10^{-5}$ – $7\times 10^{-4}$ yr$^{-1}$). About half of the metals retained by the galaxy are located far ($z >$ 500 pc) from the galactic plane. Moreover, our models indicate that the circulation of the metal-rich gas out from and back to the galactic disk is not able to erase the chemical gradients imprinted by the (centrally concentrated) SN explosions.

3D maps of the local interstellar medium: searching for the imprints of past events

Inversion of interstellar gas or dust columns measured along the path to stars distributed in distance and direction allows reconstructing the distribution of interstellar matter (ISM) in 3D. A low resolution IS dust map based on the reddening of 23,000 stars illustrates the potential of future maps. It reveals the location of the main IS clouds within $\sim$1kpc and, owing to biases towards weakly reddened targets, regions devoid of IS matter. It traces the Local Bubble and neighboring cavities, including a giant, $\geq$1000 pc long cavity located beyond the so-called $\beta$CMa tunnel, bordered by the main constituents of the Gould belt (GB), the rotating and expanding ring of clouds and young stars, inclined by $\sim$ 20$^{\circ}$ to the galactic plane. From comparison with diffuse X-ray background and absorption data it appears that the giant cavity is filled with warm, ionized and dust-poor gas in addition to million K gas. This set of structures must reflect the main events that occurred in the past. It has been suggested that the Cretaceus-Tertiary mass extinction may be due to a gamma-ray burst (GRB) in the massive globular cluster (GC) 47 Tuc during its close encounter with the Sun $\sim$70 Myrs ago. Given the mass, speed and size of 47 Tuc, wherever it crossed the Galactic plane it must have produced at the crossing site significant dynamical effects on the disk stars and IS clouds, and triggered star formation. Interestingly, first-order estimates suggest that the GB dynamics and age could match the consequences of the cluster crossing. Additionally, the giant ionized, dust-free cavity could be related to an intense flux of hard radiation, and dust-gas decoupling after the burst could explain the high variability and pattern of the D/H ratio in the nearby gaseous ISM. Future Gaia data should confirm or dismiss this hypothesis.

On the Inverse Scattering Method for Integrable PDEs on a Star Graph [Cross-Listing]

We present a framework to solve the open problem of formulating the inverse scattering method (ISM) for an integrable PDE on a star-graph. The idea is to map the problem on the graph to a matrix initial-boundary value (IBV) problem and then to extend the unified method of Fokas to such a matrix IBV problem. The nonlinear Schr\"odinger equation is chosen to illustrate the method. The framework unifies all previously known examples which are recovered as particular cases. The case of general Robin conditions at the vertex is discussed: the notion of linearizable initial-boundary conditions is introduced. For such conditions, the method is shown to be as efficient as the ISM on the full-line.

Supernova Feedback in an Inhomogeneous Interstellar Medium

Supernova (SN) feedback is one of the key processes shaping the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies. SNe contribute to (and in some cases may dominate) driving turbulence in the ISM and accelerating galactic winds. Modern cosmological simulations have sufficient resolution to capture the main structures in the ISM of galaxies, but are typically still not capable of explicitly resolving all of the small-scale stellar feedback processes, including the expansion of supernova remnants (SNRs). We perform a series of controlled three-dimensional hydrodynamic (adaptive mesh refinement, AMR) simulations of single SNRs expanding in an inhomogeneous density field with statistics motivated by those of the turbulent ISM. We use these to quantify the momentum and thermal energy injection from SNe as a function of spatial scale and the density, metallicity, and structure of the ambient medium. Using these results, we develop an analytic sub-resolution model for SN feedback for use in galaxy formation simulations. We then use simulations of multiple, stochastically driven SNe that resolve the key phases of SNRs to test the sub-resolution model, and show that it accurately captures the turbulent kinetic energy and thermal energy in the ISM. By contrast, proposed SN feedback models in the literature based on delayed cooling significantly overpredict the late-time thermal energy and momentum in SNRs.

Ram pressure stripping in elliptical galaxies: II. magnetic field effects

We investigate the effects of magnetic fields and turbulence on ram pressure stripping in elliptical galaxies using ideal magnetohydrodynamics simulations. We consider weakly-magnetised interstellar medium (ISM) characterised by subsonic turbulence, and two orientations of the magnetic fields in the intracluster medium (ICM) – parallel and perpendicular to the direction of the galaxy motion through the ICM. While the stronger turbulence enhances the ram pressure stripping mass loss, the magnetic fields tend to suppress the stripping rates, and the suppression is stronger for parallel fields. However, the effect of magnetic fields on the mass stripping rate is mild. Nevertheless, the morphology of the stripping tails depends significantly on the direction of the ICM magnetic field. The effect of the magnetic field geometry on the tail morphology is much stronger than that of the level of the ISM turbulence. The tail has a highly collimated shape for parallel fields, while it has a sheet-like morphology in the plane of the ICM magnetic field for perpendicular fields. The magnetic field in the tail is amplified irrespectively of the orientation of the ICM field. More strongly magnetised regions in the ram pressure stripping tails are expected to have systematically higher metallicity due to the strong concentration of the stripped ISM than the less magnetised regions. Strong dependence of the morphology of the stripped ISM on the magnetic field could potentially be used to constrain the relative orientation of the ram pressure direction and the dominant component of the ICM magnetic field.

A Herschel [CII] Galactic plane survey III: [CII] as a tracer of star formation

We study the relationship between the [CII] emission and the star formation rate (SFR) in the Galactic plane and separate the relationship of different ISM phases to the SFR. We compare these relationships to those in external galaxies and local clouds, allowing examinations of these relationships over a wide range of physical scales. We compare the distribution of the [CII] emission, with its different contributing ISM phases, as a function of Galactocentric distance with the SFR derived from radio continuum observations. We also compare the SFR with the surface density distribution of atomic and molecular gas, including the CO-dark H2 component. The [CII] and SFR are well correlated at Galactic scales with a relationship that is in general agreement with that found for external galaxies. By combining [CII] and SFR data points in the Galactic plane with those in external galaxies and nearby star forming regions, we find that a single scaling relationship between the [CII] luminosity and SFR applies over six orders of magnitude. The [CII] emission from different ISM phases are each correlated with the SFR, but only the combined emission shows a slope that is consistent with extragalactic observations. These ISM components have roughly comparable contributions to the Galactic [CII] luminosity: dense PDRs (30%), cold HI (25%), CO-dark H2 (25%), and ionized gas (20%). The SFR-gas surface density relationship shows a steeper slope compared to that observed in galaxies, but one that it is consistent with those seen in nearby clouds. The different slope is a result of the use of a constant CO-to-H2 conversion factor in the extragalactic studies, which in turn is related to the assumption of constant metallicity in galaxies. We find a linear correlation between the SFR surface density and that of the dense molecular gas.

Investigating Nearby Star-Forming Galaxies in the Ultraviolet with HST/COS Spectroscopy. I: Spectral Analysis and Interstellar Abundance Determinations

This is the first in a series of three papers describing a project with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope to measure abundances of the neutral interstellar medium (ISM) in a sample of 9 nearby star-forming galaxies. The goal is to assess the (in)homogeneities of the multiphase ISM in galaxies where the bulk of metals can be hidden in the neutral phase, yet the metallicity is inferred from the ionized gas in the HII regions. The sample, spanning a wide range in physical properties, is to date the best suited to investigate the metallicity behavior of the neutral gas at redshift z=0. ISM absorption lines were detected against the far-ultraviolet spectra of the brightest star-forming region(s) within each galaxy. Here we report on the observations, data reduction, and analysis of these spectra. Column densities were measured by a multi-component line-profile fitting technique, and neutral-gas abundances were obtained for a wide range of elements. Several caveats were considered including line saturation, ionization corrections, and dust depletion. Ionization effects were quantified with `ad-hoc’ CLOUDY models reproducing the complex photoionization structure of the ionized and neutral gas surrounding the UV-bright sources. An `average spectrum of a redshift z=0 star-forming galaxy’ was obtained from the average column densities of unsaturated profiles of neutral-gas species. This template can be used as a powerful tool for studies of the neutral ISM at both low and high redshift.

Eyes in the sky: Interactions between AGB winds and the interstellar magnetic field

We aim to examine the role of the interstellar magnetic field in shaping the extended morphologies of slow dusty winds of Asymptotic Giant-branch (AGB) stars in an effort to pin-point the origin of so-called eye shaped CSE of three carbon-rich AGB stars. In addition, we seek to understand if this pre-planetary nebula (PN) shaping can be responsible for asymmetries observed in PNe. Hydrodynamical simulations are used to study the effect of typical interstellar magnetic fields on the free-expanding spherical stellar winds as they sweep up the local interstellar medium (ISM). The simulations show that typical Galactic interstellar magnetic fields of 5 to 10 muG, are sufficient to alter the spherical expanding shells of AGB stars to appear as the characteristic eye shape revealed by far-infrared observations. The typical sizes of the simulated eyes are in accordance with the observed physical sizes. However, the eye shapes are of transient nature. Depending on the stellar and interstellar conditions they develop after 20,000 to 200,000yrs and last for about 50,000 to 500,000 yrs, assuming that the star is at rest relative to the local interstellar medium. Once formed the eye shape will develop lateral outflows parallel to the magnetic field. The "explosion" of a PN in the center of the eye-shaped dust shell gives rise to an asymmetrical nebula with prominent inward pointing Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Interstellar magnetic fields can clearly affect the shaping of wind-ISM interaction shells. The occurrence of the eyes is most strongly influenced by stellar space motion and ISM density. Observability of this transient phase is favoured for lines-of-sight perpendicular to the interstellar magnetic field direction. The simulations indicate that shaping of the pre-PN envelope can strongly affect the shape and size of PNe.

Supernovae Driven Turbulence In The Interstellar Medium

I model the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) randomly heated and shocked by supernovae, with gravity, differential rotation and other parameters we understand to be typical of the solar neighbourhood. The simulations are 3D extending horizontally 1 x 1 kpc squared and vertically 2 kpc, symmetric about the galactic mid-plane. They routinely span gas number densities 1/10000 to 100 per cubic cm, temperatures 100 to 100 MK, speeds up to 10000 km/s and Mach number up to 25. Radiative cooling is applied from two widely adopted parameterizations, and compared directly to assess the sensitivity of the results to cooling. There is strong evidence to describe the ISM as comprising well defined cold, warm and hot regions, which are statistically close to thermal and total pressure equilibrium. This result is not sensitive to the choice of parameters considered here. The distribution of the gas density within each can be robustly modelled as lognormal. Appropriate distinction is required between the properties of the gases in the supernova active mid-plane and the more homogeneous phases outside this region. The connection between the fractional volume of a phase and its various proxies is clarified. An exact relation is then derived between the fractional volume and the filling factors defined in terms of the volume and probabilistic averages. These results are discussed in both observational and computational contexts. The correlation scale of the random flows is calculated from the velocity autocorrelation function; it is of order 100 pc and tends to grow with distance from the mid-plane. The origin and structure of the magnetic fields in the ISM is also investigated in non-ideal MHD simulations. A seed magnetic field, with volume average of roughly 4 nG, grows exponentially to reach a statistically steady state within 1.6 Gyr.

Supernovae Driven Turbulence In The Interstellar Medium [Replacement]

I model the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) randomly heated and shocked by supernovae, with gravity, differential rotation and other parameters we understand to be typical of the solar neighbourhood. The simulations are 3D extending horizontally 1 x 1 kpc squared and vertically 2 kpc, symmetric about the galactic mid-plane. They routinely span gas number densities 1/10000 to 100 per cubic cm, temperatures 100 to 100 MK, speeds up to 10000 km/s and Mach number up to 25. Radiative cooling is applied from two widely adopted parameterizations, and compared directly to assess the sensitivity of the results to cooling. There is strong evidence to describe the ISM as comprising well defined cold, warm and hot regions, which are statistically close to thermal and total pressure equilibrium. This result is not sensitive to the choice of parameters considered here. The distribution of the gas density within each can be robustly modelled as lognormal. Appropriate distinction is required between the properties of the gases in the supernova active mid-plane and the more homogeneous phases outside this region. The connection between the fractional volume of a phase and its various proxies is clarified. An exact relation is then derived between the fractional volume and the filling factors defined in terms of the volume and probabilistic averages. These results are discussed in both observational and computational contexts. The correlation scale of the random flows is calculated from the velocity autocorrelation function; it is of order 100 pc and tends to grow with distance from the mid-plane. The origin and structure of the magnetic fields in the ISM is also investigated in non-ideal MHD simulations. A seed magnetic field, with volume average of roughly 4 nG, grows exponentially to reach a statistically steady state within 1.6 Gyr.

Diffuse Atomic and Molecular Gas in the Interstellar Medium of M82 toward SN 2014J [Replacement]

We present a comprehensive analysis of interstellar absorption lines seen in moderately-high resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J in M82. Our observations were acquired over the course of six nights, covering the period from ~6 days before to ~30 days after the supernova reached its maximum B-band brightness. We examine complex absorption from Na I, Ca II, K I, Ca I, CH+, CH, and CN, arising primarily from diffuse gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) of M82. We detect Li I absorption over a range in velocity consistent with that exhibited by the strongest Na I and K I components associated with M82; this is the first detection of interstellar Li in a galaxy outside of the Local Group. There are no significant temporal variations in the absorption-line profiles over the 37 days sampled by our observations. The relative abundances of the various interstellar species detected reveal that the ISM of M82 probed by SN 2014J consists of a mixture of diffuse atomic and molecular clouds characterized by a wide range of physical/environmental conditions. Decreasing N(Na I)/N(Ca II) ratios and increasing N(Ca I)/N(K I) ratios with increasing velocity are indicative of reduced depletion in the higher-velocity material. Significant component-to-component scatter in the N(Na I)/N(Ca II) and N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) ratios may be due to variations in the local ionization conditions. An apparent anti-correlation between the N(CH+)/N(CH) and N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) ratios can be understood in terms of an opposite dependence on gas density and radiation field strength, while the overall high CH+ abundance may be indicative of enhanced turbulence in the ISM of M82. The Li abundance also seems to be enhanced in M82, which supports the conclusions of recent gamma-ray emission studies that the cosmic-ray acceleration processes are greatly enhanced in this starburst galaxy.

 

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