Posts Tagged ism

Recent Postings from ism

Detection of TiH$_2$ molecule in the interstellar medium is less probable

Identification of TiH$^1$ and TiO$^2$ has been historical, as the Titanium was first time discovered in the interstellar medium (ISM). After finding TiO$_2$$^3$, there is an obvious question about the search of titanium dihydride (TiH$_2$). The existence of TiH$_2$ in the ISM is quite probable, as the atomic abundance of hydrogen is about 1900 times larger than that of oxygen. We have discussed that the detection of TiH$_2$ in the ISM is less probable, though it has a large electric dipole moment.

Outflows in Sodium Excess Objects

van Dokkum and Conroy revisited the unexpectedly strong Na I lines at 8200 A found in some giant elliptical galaxies and interpreted it as evidence for unusually bottom-heavy initial mass function. Jeong et al. later found a large population of galaxies showing equally-extraordinary Na D doublet absorption lines at 5900 A (Na D excess objects: NEOs) and showed that their origins can be different for different types of galaxies. While a Na D excess seems to be related with the interstellar medium (ISM) in late-type galaxies, smooth-looking early-type NEOs show little or no dust extinction and hence no compelling sign of ISM contributions. To further test this finding, we measured the doppler components in the Na D lines. We hypothesized that ISM would have a better (albeit not definite) chance of showing a blueshift doppler departure from the bulk of the stellar population due to outflow caused by either star formation or AGN activities. Many of the late-type NEOs clearly show blueshift in their Na D lines, which is consistent with the former interpretation that the Na D excess found in them is related with star formation-caused gas outflow. On the contrary, smooth-looking early-type NEOs do not show any notable doppler component, which is also consistent with the interpretation of Jeong et al. that the Na D excess in early-type NEOs is likely not related with ISM activities but is purely stellar in origin.

Optical light curve of GRB 121011A: a textbook for the onset of GRB afterglow in a mixture of ISM and wind-type medium

We reported the optical observations of GRB 121011A by 0.8-m TNT telescope at Xinglong observatory, China. The light curve of optical afterglow shows a smooth and featureless bump during the epoch of $\sim$130 sec and $\sim$5000 sec with a rising index of $1.57\pm0.28$ before the break time of $539\pm44$ sec, and a decaying index of about $1.29\pm0.07$ up to the end of our observations. Meanwhile, the X-ray light curve decays in a single power-law with a slop of about $1.51\pm0.03$ observed by $XRT$ onboard ${\rm} Swift$ from 100 sec to about 10000 sec after the burst trigger. The featureless optical light curve could be understood as an onset process under the external-shock model. The typical frequency has been below or near the optical one before the deceleration time, and the cooling frequency is located between the optical and X-ray wavelengths. The external medium density has a transition from a mixed stage of ISM and wind-type medium before the peak time to the ISM at the later phase. The joint-analysis of X-ray and optical light curves shows that the emission from both frequencies are consistent with the prediction of the standard afterglow model without any energy injections, indicating that the central engine has stopped its activity and does not restart anymore after the prompt phase.

The most iron-deficient stars as the polluted population III stars

We investigate the origin of the most iron-poor stars including SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 with [Fe/H] < -7.52. We compute the change of surface metallicity of stars with the accretion of interstellar matter (ISM) after their birth using the chemical evolution model within the framework of the hierarchical galaxy formation. The predicted metallicity distribution function agrees very well with that observed from extremely metal-poor stars. In particular, the lowest metallicity tail is well reproduced by the Population III stars whose surfaces are polluted with metals through ISM accretion. This suggests that the origin of iron group elements is explained by ISM accretion for the stars with [Fe/H]$\lesssim -5$. The present results give new insights into the nature of the most metal-poor stars and the search for Population III stars with pristine abundances.

Pulsar lensing geometry

Our analysis of archival VLBI data of PSR 0834+06 revealed that its scintillation properties can be precisely modelled using the inclined sheet model (Pen & Levin 2014), resulting in two distinct lens planes. These data strongly favour the grazing sheet model over turbulence as the primary source of pulsar scattering. This model can reproduce the parameters of the observed diffractive scintillation with an accuracy at the percent level. Comparison with new VLBI proper motion results in a direct measure of the ionized ISM screen transverse velocity. The results are consistent with ISM velocities local to the PSR 0834+06 sight-line (through the Galaxy). The simple 1D structure of the lenses opens up the possibility of using interstellar lenses as precision probes for pulsar lens mapping, precision transverse motions in the ISM, and new opportunities for removing scattering to improve pulsar timing. We describe the parameters and observables of this double screen system. While relative screen distances can in principle be accurately determined, a global conformal distance degeneracy exists that allows a rescaling of the absolute distance scale. For PSR B0834+06, we present VLBI astrometry results that provide (for the fist time) a direct measurement of the distance of the pulsar. For targets where independent distance measurements are not available, which are the cases for most of the recycled millisecond pulsars that are the targets of precision timing observations, the degeneracy presented in the lens modelling could be broken if the pulsar resides in a binary system.

Simulator of Galaxy Millimeter/Submillimeter Emission (SIGAME): The [CII]-SFR Relationship of Massive z=2 Main Sequence Galaxies

We present SIGAME simulations of the [CII] 157.7 {\mu}m fine structure line emission from cosmological smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of main sequence galaxies at z = 2. Using sub-grid physics prescriptions the gas in our galaxy simulations is modelled as a multi-phased interstellar medium (ISM) comprised of molecular gas residing in the inner regions of giant molecular clouds, an atomic gas phase associated with photodissociation regions at the surface of the clouds, and a diffuse, fully ionized gas phase. Adopting a density profile of the clouds and taking into account heating by the local FUV radiation field and cosmic rays – both scaled by the local star formation rate density – we calculate the [CII] emission from each of the aforementioned ISM phases using a large velocity gradient approach for each cloud, on resolved and global scales. The [CII] emission peaks in the central (<~ 1 kpc) regions of our galaxies where the star formation is most intense, and we find that the majority (>~ 60%) of the emission in this region originates in the molecular gas phase. At larger galactocentric distances (>~2 kpc), the atomic gas is the main contributor to the [CII] emission (>~ 80%), and at all radii the ionized gas provides a negligible amount (<~ 5%) to the [CII] budget. Our simulations predict a log-linear relationship between the integrated [CII] luminosity and star formation rate with a slope (0.80 +/- 0.12) in agreement with observationally determined slopes (~ 0.85 – 1.00) but with a ~ 3 times higher normalization than the observed z ~ 0 relation.

Probing high-redshift galaxies with Ly$\alpha$ intensity mapping

We present a study of the cosmological Ly$\alpha$ emission signal at $z > 4$. Our goal is to predict the power spectrum of the spatial fluctuations that could be observed by an intensity mapping survey. The model uses the latest data from the HST legacy fields and the abundance matching technique to associate UV emission and dust properties with the halos, computing the emission from the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM), including the effects of reionization, self-consistently. The Ly$\alpha$ intensity from the diffuse IGM emission is 1.3 (2.0) times more intense than the ISM emission at $z = 4(7)$; both components are fair tracers of the star-forming galaxy distribution. However the power spectrum is dominated by ISM emission on small scales ($k > 0.01 h{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$) with shot noise being significant only above $k = 1 h{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$. At very lange scales ($k < 0.01h{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$) diffuse IGM emission becomes important. The comoving Ly$\alpha$ luminosity density from IGM and galaxies, $\dot \rho_{{\rm Ly}\alpha}^{\rm IGM} = 8.73(6.51) \times 10^{40} {\rm erg}{\rm s}^{-1}{\rm Mpc}^{-3}$ and $\dot \rho_{{\rm Ly}\alpha}^{\rm ISM} = 6.62(3.21) \times 10^{40} {\rm erg}{\rm s}^{-1}{\rm Mpc}^{-3}$ at $z = 4(7)$, is consistent with recent SDSS determinations. We predict a power $k^3 P^{{\rm Ly}\alpha}(k, z)/2\pi^2 = 9.76\times 10^{-4}(2.09\times 10^{-5}){\rm nW}^2{\rm m}^{-4}{\rm sr}^{-2}$ at $z = 4(7)$ for $k = 0.1 h {\rm Mpc}^{-1}$.

Z-FIRE: ISM properties of the z = 2.095 COSMOS Cluster

We investigate the ISM properties of 13 star-forming galaxies within the z~2 COSMOS cluster. We show that the cluster members have [NII]/Ha and [OIII]/Hb emission-line ratios similar to z~2 field galaxies, yet systematically different emission-line ratios (by ~0.17 dex) from the majority of local star-forming galaxies. We find no statistically significant difference in the [NII]/Ha and [OIII]/Hb line ratios or ISM pressures among the z~2 cluster galaxies and field galaxies at the same redshift. We show that our cluster galaxies have significantly larger ionization parameters (by up to an order of magnitude) than local star-forming galaxies. We hypothesize that these high ionization parameters may be associated with large specific star formation rates (i.e. a large star formation rate per unit stellar mass). If this hypothesis is correct, then this relationship would have important implications for the geometry and/or the mass of stars contained within individual star clusters as a function of redshift.

Supernova Feedback and the Hot Gas Filling Fraction of the Interstellar Medium

Supernovae are the most energetic among stellar feedback processes, and are crucial for regulating the interstellar medium (ISM) and launching galactic winds. We explore how supernova remnants (SNRs) create a multiphase medium by performing high resolution, 3D hydrodynamical simulations at various SN rates, $S$, and ISM average densities, $n$. We find that the evolution of a SNR in a self-consistently generated three-phase ISM is qualitatively different from that in a uniform or a two-phase warm/cold medium. By traveling faster and further in the cooling-inefficient hot phase, the spatial-temporal domain of a SNR is enlarged by $>10^{2.5}$ in a hot-dominated multiphase medium (HDMM) compared to the uniform case. We then examine the resultant ISM as we vary $n$ and $S$, finding that a steady state can only be achieved when the hot gas volume fraction \fvh $\lesssim 0.6\pm 0.1$. Above that, overlapping SNRs render connecting topology of the hot gas, and such a HDMM is subjected to thermal runaway with growing pressure and \fvh. Photoelectric heating (PEH) has a surprisingly strong impact on \fvh. For $n \gtrsim 3 cm^{-3}$, a reasonable PEH rate is able to suppress the ISM from undergoing thermal runaway. Overall, we determine that the critical SN rate for the onset of thermal runaway is roughly $S_{crit} = 200 (n/1cm^{-3})^k (E_{SN}/10^{51} erg)^{-1} kpc^{-3} Myr^{-1}$, where k=(1.2,2.7) for $n$ < 1 and >1 cm$^{-3}$, respectively. We present a fitting formula of the ISM pressure $P(n, S)$, which can be used as an effective equation of state in cosmological simulations. The observed velocities of OB stars imply that the core collapse SN are almost randomly located on scales $\lesssim$ 150 pc. Despite the 5 orders of magnitude span of $(n,S)$, the average Mach number shows very small variations: $M \approx 0.5\pm 0.2, 1.2\pm 0.3, 2.3\pm 0.9$ for the hot, warm and cold phases, respectively.

HST and HI Imaging of Strong Ram Pressure Stripping in the Coma Spiral NGC 4921: Dense Cloud Decoupling and Evidence for Magnetic Binding in the ISM

Remarkable dust extinction features in the deep HST V and I images of the face-on Coma cluster spiral galaxy NGC 4921 show in unprecedented ways how ram pressure strips the ISM from the disk of a spiral galaxy. New VLA HI maps show a truncated and highly asymmetric HI disk with a compressed HI distribution in the NW, providing evidence for ram pressure acting from the NW. Where the HI distribution is truncated in the NW region, HST images show a well-defined, continuous front of dust that extends over 90 degrees and 20 kpc. This dust front separates the dusty from dust-free regions of the galaxy, and we interpret it as galaxy ISM swept up near the leading side of the ICM-ISM interaction. We identify and characterize 100 pc-1 kpc scale substructure within this dust front caused by ram pressure, including head-tail filaments, C-shaped filaments, and long smooth dust fronts. The morphology of these features strongly suggests that dense gas clouds partially decouple from surrounding lower density gas during stripping, but decoupling is inhibited, possibly by magnetic fields which link and bind distant parts of the ISM.

The Interstellar Medium in the Kepler Search Volume

The properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) surrounding a planetary system can impact planetary climate through a number of mechanisms, including changing the size of the astrosphere (one of the major shields for cosmic rays) as well as direct deposition of material into planetary atmospheres. In order to constrain the ambient ISM conditions for exoplanetary systems, we present observations of interstellar Na I and K I absorption towards seventeen early-type stars in the Kepler prime mission field of view. We identify 39 Na I and 8 K I velocity components, and attribute these to eleven ISM clouds. Six of these are detected towards more than one star, and for these clouds we put limits on the cloud properties, including distance and hydrogen number density. We identify one cloud with significant (>1.5 cm$^{-3}$) hydrogen number density located within the nominal ~100 pc boundary of the Local Bubble. We identify systems with confirmed planets within the Kepler field of view that could lie within these ISM clouds, and estimate upper limits on the astrosphere sizes of these systems under the assumption that they do lie within these clouds. Under this condition, the Kepler-20, 42, and 445 multiplanet systems could have compressed astrospheres much smaller than the present-day heliosphere. Among the known habitable zone planet hosts, Kepler-186 could have an astrosphere somewhat smaller than the heliosphere, while Kepler-437 and KOI-4427 could have astrospheres much larger than the heliosphere. The thick disk star Kepler-444 may have an astrosphere just a few AU in radius.

Dust evolution in the transition towards the denser ISM: impact on dust temperature, opacity, and spectral index

Variations in the observed dust emission and extinction indicate a systematic evolution of grain properties in the transition from the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) to denser molecular clouds. The differences in the dust spectral energy distribution (SED) observed from the diffuse ISM to denser regions, namely an increase in the spectral index at long wavelengths, an increase in the FIR opacity, and a decrease in temperature, are usually assumed to be the result of changes in dust properties. We investigate if evolutionary processes, such as coagulation and accretion, are able to change the dust properties of grains in a way that is consistent with observations. We use a core-mantle grain model to describe diffuse ISM-type grains, and using DDA we calculate how the accretion of mantles and coagulation into aggregates vary the grain optical properties. We calculate the dust SED and extinction using DustEM and the radiative transfer code CRT. We show that the accretion of an aliphatic carbon mantle on diffuse ISM-type dust leads to an increase in the FIR opacity by a factor of about 2 and in the FIR/submm spectral index from 1.5 to 1.8, and to a decrease in the temperature by about 2 K. We also show that the coagulation of these grains into aggregates further decreases the temperature by 3 K and increases the spectral index up to a value of $\sim$2. The FIR opacity is increased by a factor of 3 (7) for these aggregates (with an additional ice-mantle) compared to the diffuse ISM-dust. Dust evolution in the ISM resulting from coagulation and accretion, leads to significant changes in the optical properties of the grains that can explain the observed variations in the dust SED in the transition from the diffuse ISM to denser regions.

Early-type stars observed in the ESO UVES Paranal Observatory Project - V. Time-variable interstellar absorption

The structure and properties of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) on small scales, sub-au to 1 pc, are poorly understood. We compare interstellar absorption-lines, observed towards a selection of O- and B-type stars at two or more epochs, to search for variations over time caused by the transverse motion of each star combined with changes in the structure in the foreground ISM. Two sets of data were used: 83 VLT- UVES spectra with approximately 6 yr between epochs and 21 McDonald observatory 2.7m telescope echelle spectra with 6 – 20 yr between epochs, over a range of scales from 0 – 360 au. The interstellar absorption-lines observed at the two epochs were subtracted and searched for any residuals due to changes in the foreground ISM. Of the 104 sightlines investigated with typically five or more components in Na I D, possible temporal variation was identified in five UVES spectra (six components), in Ca II, Ca I and/or Na I absorption-lines. The variations detected range from 7\% to a factor of 3.6 in column density. No variation was found in any other interstellar species. Most sightlines show no variation, with 3{\sigma} upper limits to changes of the order 0.1 – 0.3 dex in Ca II and Na I. These variations observed imply that fine-scale structure is present in the ISM, but at the resolution available in this study, is not very common at visible wavelengths. A determination of the electron densities and lower limits to the total number density of a sample of the sightlines implies that there is no striking difference between these parameters in sightlines with, and sightlines without, varying components.

Lyman alpha Emitting Galaxies in the Nearby Universe

The Lya emission line of HI is intrinsically the brightest feature in the spectrum of astrophysical nebulae, making it a very attractive observational tool with which to survey galaxies. Moreover as a UV resonance line, Lya possesses several unique characteristics that make it useful to study the ISM and ionizing stellar population at all cosmic epochs. In this review I present a summary of Lya observations of galaxies in the nearby universe. At UV magnitudes reachable with current facilities, only ~5% of the local galaxy population shows a Lya equivalent width (EW_Lya) that exceeds 20\AA. This fraction increases dramatically at higher z, but only in the local universe can we study galaxies in detail and assemble unprecedented multi-wavelength datasets. I discuss many local Lya observations, showing that when galaxies show net Lya emission, they ubiquitously produce large halos of scattered Lya, that dominate the integrated luminosity. We discuss how global EW_Lya and the Lya escape fraction (fescLya) are higher (EW_Lya >~ 20\AA\ and fescLya> 10%) in galaxies that represent the less massive and younger end of the distributions for local objects. This is connected with various properties, such that Lya-emitters have lower metallicities (median value of 12+log(O/H) ~ 8.1) and dust reddening. However, the presence of galactic outflows is also vital to Doppler shift the Lya line out of resonance with the HI, as high EW_Lya is found only among galaxies with winds faster than ~50km/s. The evidence is then assembled into a coherent picture, and the requirement for star formation driven feedback is discussed in the context of an evolutionary sequence where the ISM is accelerated and/or subject to fluid instabilities, which reduce the scattering of Lya. Concluding remarks take the form of perspectives upon the most pressing questions that can be answered by observation.

Var C: Long-term photometric and spectral variability of an LBV in M33

So far the highly unstable phase of luminous blue variables (LBVs) has not been understood well. It is still uncertain why and which massive stars enter this phase. Investigating the variabilities by looking for a possible regular or even (semi-)periodic behaviour could give a hint at the underlying mechanism for these variations and might answer the question of where these variabilities originate. Finding out more about the LBV phase also means understanding massive stars better in general, which have (e.g. by enriching the ISM with heavy elements, providing ionising radiation and kinetic energy) a strong and significant influence on the ISM, hence also on their host galaxy. Photometric and spectroscopic data were taken for the LBV Var C in M33 to investigate its recent status. In addition, scanned historic plates, archival data, and data from the literature were gathered to trace Var C’s behaviour in the past. Its long-term variability and periodicity was investigated. Our investigation of the variability indicates possible (semi-)periodic behaviour with a period of 42.3 years for Var C. That Var C’s light curve covers a time span of more than 100 years means that more than two full periods of the cycle are visible. The critical historic maximum around 1905 is less strong but discernible even with the currently rare historic data. The semi-periodic and secular structure of the light curve is similar to the one of LMC R71. Both light curves hint at a new aspect in the evolution of LBVs.

ALMA maps the Star-Forming Regions in a Dense Gas Disk at z~3

We exploit long-baseline ALMA sub-mm observations of the lensed star-forming galaxy SDP 81 at z=3.042 to investigate the properties of inter-stellar medium on scales of 50-100pc. The kinematics of the CO gas within this system are well described by a rotationally-supported disk with an inclination-corrected rotation speed, v=320+/-20km/s and a dynamical mass of M=(3.5+/-1.0)x10^10Mo within a radius of 1.5 kpc. The disk is gas rich and unstable, with a Toomre parameter, Q=0.30+/-0.10 and so should collapse in to star-forming regions with Jeans length L_J~130pc. We identify five star-forming regions within the ISM on these scales and show that their scaling relations between luminosity, line-widths and sizes are significantly offset from those typical of molecular clouds in local Galaxies (Larson’s relations). These offsets are likely to be caused by the high external hydrostatic pressure for the interstellar medium (ISM), P/kB=(40+/-20)x10^7K/cm3, which is ~10,000x higher than the typical ISM pressure in the Milky Way. The physical conditions of the star-forming ISM and giant molecular clouds appears to be similar to the those found in the densest environments in the local Universe, such as those in the Galactic center.

ISM Masses and Star Formation at z = 1 to 6 ALMA Observations of Dust Continuum in 180 Galaxies in COSMOS

ALMA Cycle 2 observations of the long wavelength dust emission in 180 star-forming (SF) galaxies are used to investigate the evolution of ISM masses at z = 1 to 6.4. The ISM masses exhibit strong increases from z = 0 to $\rm <z>$ = 1.15 and further to $\rm <z>$ = 2.2 and 4.8, particularly amongst galaxies above the SF galaxy main sequence (MS). The galaxies with highest SFRs at $\rm <z>$ = 2.2 and 4.8 have gas masses 100 times that of the Milky Way and gas mass fractions reaching 50 to 80\%, i.e. gas masses 1 – 4$\times$ their stellar masses. For the full sample of galaxies, we find a single, very simple SF law: $\rm SFR \propto M_{\rm ISM}^{0.9}$, i.e. a `linear’ dependence on the ISM mass — on and above the MS. Thus, the galaxies above the MS are converting their larger ISM masses into stars on a timescale similar to those on the MS. At z $> 1$, the entire population of star-forming galaxies has $\sim$5 – 10$\times$ shorter gas depletion times ($\sim0.2$ Gyr) than galaxies at low redshift. These {\bf shorter depletion times are due to a different, dominant mode of SF in the early universe} — dynamically driven by compressive, high dispersion gas motions and/or galaxy interactions. The dispersive gas motions are a natural consequence of the extraordinarily high gas accretion rates which must occur to maintain the prodigious SF.

Neutral carbon and CO in 76 (U)LIRGs and starburst galaxy centers A method to determine molecular gas properties in luminous galaxies

We present fluxes in both neutral carbon [CI] lines at the centers of 76 galaxies with FIR luminosities between 10^{9} and 10^{12} L(o) obtained with Herschel-SPIRE and with ground-based facilities, along with the J=7-6, J=4-3, J=2-1 12CO and J=2-1 13CO line fluxes. We investigate whether these lines can be used to characterize the molecular ISM of the parent galaxies in simple ways and how the molecular gas properties define the model results. In most starburst galaxies, the [CI]/13CO flux ratio is much higher than in Galactic star-forming regions, and it is correlated to the total FIR luminosity. The [CI](1-0)/CO(4-3), the [CI](2-1) (2-1)/CO(7-6), and the [CI] (2-1)/(1-0) flux ratios are also correlated, and trace the excitation of the molecular gas. In the most luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs), the ISM is fully dominated by dense and moderately warm gas clouds that appear to have low [C]/[CO] and [13CO]/[12CO] abundances. In less luminous galaxies, emission from gas clouds at lower densities becomes progressively more important, and a multiple-phase analysis is required to determine consistent physical characteristics. Neither the CO nor the [CI] velocity-integrated line fluxes are good predictors of H2 column densities in individual galaxies, and X(CI) conversion factors are not superior to X(CO) factors. The methods and diagnostic diagrams outlined in this paper also provide a new and relatively straightforward means of deriving the physical characteristics of molecular gas in high-redshift galaxies up to z=5, which are otherwise hard to determine.

Stellar and Quasar Feedback in Concert: Effects on AGN Accretion, Obscuration, and Outflows

We use hydrodynamic simulations to study the interaction of realistic active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback mechanisms (accretion-disk winds & Compton heating) with a multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM). Our ISM model includes radiative cooling and explicit stellar feedback from multiple processes. We simulate radii ~0.1-100 pc around an isolated (non-merging) black hole. These are the scales where the accretion rate onto the black hole is determined and where AGN-powered winds and radiation couple to the ISM. Our primary results include: (1) The black hole accretion rate on these scales is determined by exchange of angular momentum between gas and stars in gravitational instabilities. This produces accretion rates of ~0.03-1 Msun/yr, sufficient to power a luminous AGN. (2) The gas disk in the galactic nucleus undergoes an initial burst of star formation followed by several Myrs where stellar feedback suppresses the star formation rate per dynamical time. (3) AGN winds injected at small radii with momentum fluxes ~L/c couple efficiently to the ISM and have a dramatic effect on the ISM properties in the central ~100 pc. AGN winds suppress the nuclear star formation rate by a factor of ~10-30 and the black hole accretion rate by a factor of ~3-30. They increase the total outflow rate from the galactic nucleus by a factor of ~10. The latter is broadly consistent with observational evidence for galaxy-scale atomic and molecular outflows driven by AGN rather than star formation. (4) In simulations that include AGN feedback, the predicted column density distribution towards the black hole is reasonably consistent with observations, whereas absent AGN feedback, the black hole is isotropically obscured and there are not enough optically-thin sight lines to explain observed Type I AGN. A ‘torus-like’ geometry arises self-consistently because AGN feedback evacuates the gas in the polar regions.

Comment on AMS02 results support the secondary origin of cosmic ray positrons

Recently Blum, Katz and Waxman have claimed that the flux of high energy cosmic ray (CR) positrons near Earth that has been measured with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aboard the International Space Station can be produced in the collisions of Galactic CR protons and nuclei with the ambient matter in the Galactic interstellar medium (ISM). Their claim was based on an alleged "robust upper limit to the positron flux" which neglected the energy loss of e+’s in the ISM. Inclusion of this energy loss, however, yields a much smaller upper limit, which excludes secondary production in the ISM by the Galactic cosmic rays as the main origin of the CR e^+ flux above 10 GeV.

Comment on AMS02 results support the secondary origin of cosmic ray positrons [Replacement]

We present a simple calculation of the flux of secondary positrons produced in the ISM that is based only on priors. Our calculated ISM flux agrees very well with that calculated with the elaborate GALPROP code. It confirms that secondary production of positrons in the ISM by the primary cosmic rays cannot explain the observed sub-TeV flux of CR positrons. Moreover, we show that once energy loss of positrons in source and in the ISM are included, secondary production inside the CR sources plus the ISM does explain the measured near-Earth flux of cosmic ray positrons.

Understanding the two-dimensional ionization structure in luminous infrared galaxies. A near-IR integral field spectroscopy perspective

We investigate the 2D excitation structure of the ISM in a sample of LIRGs and Seyferts using near-IR IFS. This study extends to the near-IR the well-known optical and mid-IR emission line diagnostics used to classify activity in galaxies. Based on the spatially resolved spectroscopy of prototypes, we identify in the [FeII]1.64/Br$\gamma$ – H_2 1-0S(1)/Br$\gamma$ plane regions dominated by the different heating sources, i.e. AGNs, young MS massive stars, and evolved stars i.e. supernovae. The ISM in LIRGs occupy a wide region in the near-IR diagnostic plane from -0.6 to +1.5 and from -1.2 to +0.8 (in log units) for the [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ and H_2/Br$\gamma$ line ratios, respectively. The corresponding median(mode) ratios are +0.18(0.16) and +0.02(-0.04). Seyferts show on average larger values by factors ~2.5 and ~1.4 for the [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ and H_2/Br$\gamma$ ratios, respectively. New areas and relations in the near-IR diagnostic plane are defined for the compact, high surface brightness regions dominated by AGN, young ionizing stars, and SNe explosions, respectively. In addition, the diffuse regions affected by the AGN radiation field cover an area similar to that of Seyferts, but with high values in [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ that are not as extreme. The extended, non-AGN diffuse regions cover a wide area in the diagnostic diagram that overlaps that of individual excitation mechanisms (i.e. AGN, young stars, and SNe), but with its mode value to that of the young SF clumps. This indicates that the excitation conditions of the diffuse ISM are likely due to a mixture of the different ionization sources. The integrated line ratios in LIRGs show higher excitation conditions i.e. towards AGNs, than those measured by the spatially resolved spectroscopy. If this behaviour is representative, it would have clear consequences when classifying high-z, SF galaxies based on their near-IR integrated spectra.

Atomic data for Zn II - Improving Spectral Diagnostics of Chemical Evolution in High-redshift Galaxies

Damped Lyman-alpha (DLA) and sub-DLA absorbers in quasar spectra provide the most sensitive tools for measuring element abundances of distant galaxies. Estimation of abundances from absorption lines depends sensitively on the accuracy of the atomic data used. We have started a project to produce new atomic spectroscopic parameters for optical/UV spectral lines using state-of-the-art computer codes employing very broad configuration interaction basis. Here we report our results for Zn II, an ion used widely in studies of the interstellar medium (ISM) as well as DLA/sub-DLAs. We report new calculations of many energy levels of Zn II, and the line strengths of the resulting radiative transitions. Our calculations use the configuration interaction approach within a numerical Hartree-Fock framework. We use both non-relativistic and quasi-relativistic one-electron radial orbitals. We have incorporated the results of these atomic calculations into the plasma simulation code Cloudy, and applied them to a lab plasma and examples of a DLA and a sub-DLA. Our values of the Zn II {\lambda}{\lambda} 2026, 2062 oscillator strengths are higher than previous values by 0.10 dex. Cloudy calculations for representative absorbers with the revised Zn atomic data imply ionization corrections lower than calculated before by 0.05 dex. The new results imply Zn metallicities should be lower by 0.1 dex for DLAs and by 0.13-0.15 dex for sub-DLAs than in past studies. Our results can be applied to other studies of Zn II in the Galactic and extragalactic ISM.

Ultraviolet ISM Diagnostics for Star-Forming Galaxies I. Tracers of Metallicity and Extinction

We have observed a sample of 14 nearby ($z \sim 0.03$) star-forming blue compact galaxies in the rest-frame far-UV ($\sim1150-2200 \AA$) using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. We have also generated a grid of stellar population synthesis models using the Starburst99 evolutionary synthesis code, allowing us to compare observations and theoretical predictions for the SiIV_1400 and CIV_1550 UV indices; both are comprised of a blend of stellar wind and interstellar lines and have been proposed as metallicity diagnostics in the UV. Our models and observations both demonstrate that there is a positive linear correlation with metallicity for both indices, and we find generally good agreement between our observations and the predictions of the Starburst99 models. By combining the rest-frame UV observations with pre-existing rest-frame optical spectrophotometry of our blue compact galaxy sample, we also directly compare the predictions of metallicity and extinction diagnostics across both wavelength regimes. This comparison reveals a correlation between the UV absorption and optical strong-line diagnostics, offering the first means of directly comparing ISM properties determined across different rest-frame regimes. Finally, using our Starburst99 model grid we determine theoretical values for the short-wavelength UV continuum slope, $\beta_{18}$, that can be used for determining extinction in rest-frame UV spectra of star-forming galaxies. We consider the implications of these results and discuss future work aimed at parameterizing these and other environmental diagnostics in the UV as well as the development of robust comparisons between ISM diagnostics across a broad wavelength baseline.

Modern yields per stellar generation: the effect of the IMF

Gaseous and stellar metallicities in galaxies are nowadays routinely used to constrain the evolutionary processes in galaxies. This requires the knowledge of the average yield per stellar generation, $y_{\text{Z}}$, i.e. the quantity of metals that a stellar population releases into the interstellar medium (ISM), which is generally assumed to be a fixed fiducial value. Deviations of the observed metallicity from the expected value of $y_{\text{Z}}$ are used to quantify the effect of outflows or inflows of gas, or even as evidence for biased metallicity calibrations or inaccurate metallicity diagnostics. Here we show that $\rm y_{\text{Z}}$ depends significantly on the Initial Mass Function (IMF), varying by up to a factor larger than three, for the range of IMFs typically adopted in various studies. This, along with the variation of the gas mass fraction restored into the ISM by supernovae ($R$, which also depends on the IMF), may yield to deceiving results, if not properly taken into account. In particular, metallicities that are often considered unusually high can actually be explained in terms of yield associated with commonly adopted IMFs such as the Kroupa (2001) or Chabrier (2003). Moreover, if the IMF depends on the enviroment, then $y_{\text{Z}}$ should be varied accordingly. Finally, we show that $y_{\text{Z}}$ is not substantially affected by the inital stellar metallicity as long as this is higher than $\text{Z}> 10^{-3}~\text{Z}_{\odot}$. On the other hand, $y_{\text{Z}}$ does vary significantly in primordial systems with metallicities lower than this threshold.

Dust variations in the diffuse interstellar medium: constraints on Milky Way dust from Planck-HFI observations

The Planck-HFI all-sky survey from 353 to 857GHz combined with the 100 microns IRAS show that the dust properties vary in the diffuse ISM at high Galactic latitude (1e19<NH<2.5e20 H/cm2). Our aim is to explain these variations with changes in the ISM properties and grain evolution. Our starting point is the latest core-mantle dust model. It consists of small aromatic-rich carbon grains, larger amorphous carbon grains with aliphatic-rich cores and aromatic-rich mantles, and amorphous silicates with Fe/FeS nano-inclusions covered by aromatic-rich carbon mantles. We explore whether variations in the radiation field or in the gas density distribution in the diffuse ISM could explain the observations. The dust properties are also varied in terms of mantle thickness, Fe/FeS inclusions, carbon abundance, and size distribution. Variations in the radiation field intensity and gas density distribution cannot explain the observed variations but radiation fields harder than the standard ISRF may participate in creating part of them. We further show that variations in the grain mantle thickness coupled with changes in the grain size distribution can reproduce most of the observations. We put a limit on the mantle thickness of the silicates (~10-15nm), and find that aromatic-rich mantles are needed for the carbon grains (at least 5-7.5nm thick). We also find that changes in the carbon abundance in the grains could explain part of the observed variations. Finally, we show that varying the composition of Fe/FeS inclusions in the silicates cannot account for the variations. With small variations in the dust properties, we are able to explain most of the variations in the dust emission observed by Planck-HFI in the diffuse ISM. We also find that the small realistic changes in the dust properties that we consider almost perfectly match the anti-correlation and scatter in the observed beta-T relation.

Dust variations in the diffuse interstellar medium: constraints on Milky Way dust from Planck-HFI observations [Replacement]

The Planck-HFI all-sky survey from 353 to 857GHz combined with the 100 microns IRAS show that the dust properties vary in the diffuse ISM at high Galactic latitude (1e19<NH<2.5e20 H/cm2). Our aim is to explain these variations with changes in the ISM properties and grain evolution. Our starting point is the latest core-mantle dust model. It consists of small aromatic-rich carbon grains, larger amorphous carbon grains with aliphatic-rich cores and aromatic-rich mantles, and amorphous silicates with Fe/FeS nano-inclusions covered by aromatic-rich carbon mantles. We explore whether variations in the radiation field or in the gas density distribution in the diffuse ISM could explain the observations. The dust properties are also varied in terms of mantle thickness, Fe/FeS inclusions, carbon abundance, and size distribution. Variations in the radiation field intensity and gas density distribution cannot explain the observed variations but radiation fields harder than the standard ISRF may participate in creating part of them. We further show that variations in the grain mantle thickness coupled with changes in the grain size distribution can reproduce most of the observations. We put a limit on the mantle thickness of the silicates (~10-15nm), and find that aromatic-rich mantles are needed for the carbon grains (at least 5-7.5nm thick). We also find that changes in the carbon abundance in the grains could explain part of the observed variations. Finally, we show that varying the composition of Fe/FeS inclusions in the silicates cannot account for the variations. With small variations in the dust properties, we are able to explain most of the variations in the dust emission observed by Planck-HFI in the diffuse ISM. We also find that the small realistic changes in the dust properties that we consider almost perfectly match the anti-correlation and scatter in the observed beta-T relation.

VLT/MUSE view of the highly ionized outflow cones in the nearby starburst ESO338-IG04 [Replacement]

The Ly$\alpha$ line is an important diagnostic for star formation at high redshift, but interpreting its flux and line profile is difficult because of the resonance nature of Ly$\alpha$. Trends between the escape of Ly$\alpha$ photons and dust and properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) have been found, but detailed comparisons between Ly$\alpha$ emission and the properties of the gas in local high-redshift analogs are vital for understanding the relation between Ly$\alpha$ emission and galaxy properties. For the first time, we can directly infer the properties of the ionized gas at the same location and similar spatial scales of the extended Ly$\alpha$ halo around ESO 338-IG04. We obtained VLT/MUSE integral field spectra. We used ionization parameter mapping of the [SII]/[OIII] line ratio and the kinematics of H$\alpha$ to study the ionization state and kinematics of the ISM of ESO338-IG04. The velocity map reveals two outflows. The entire central area of the galaxy is highly ionized by photons leaking from the HII regions around the youngest star clusters. Three highly ionized cones have been identified, of which one is associated with an outflow. We propose a scenario where the outflows are created by mechanical feedback of the older clusters, while the highly ionized gas is caused by the hard ionizing photons emitted by the youngest clusters. A comparison with the Ly$\alpha$ map shows that the (approximately bipolar) asymmetries observed in the Ly$\alpha$ emission are consistent with the base of the outflows detected in H$\alpha$. No clear correlation with the ionization cones is found. The mechanical and ionization feedback of star clusters significantly changes the state of the ISM by creating ionized cones and outflows. The comparison with Ly$\alpha$ suggests that especially the outflows could facilitate the escape of Ly$\alpha$ photons [Abridged].

The ISM at high redshifts: ALMA results and a look to the future

ALMA is revolutionizing the way we study and understand the astrophysics of galaxies, both as a whole and individually. By exploiting its unique sensitivity and resolution to make spatially and spectrally resolved images of the gas and dust in the interstellar medium (ISM), ALMA can reveal new information about the relationship between stars and gas, during and between galaxies’ cycles of star formation and AGN fueling. However, this can only be done for a modest number of targets, and thus works in the context of large samples drawn from other surveys, while providing parallel deep imaging in small fields around. Recent ALMA highlights are reviewed, and some areas where ALMA will potentially make great contributions in future are discussed.

The silicate absorption profile in the ISM towards the heavily obscured nucleus of NGC 4418

The 9.7-micron silicate absorption profile in the interstellar medium provides important information on the physical and chemical composition of interstellar dust grains. Measurements in the Milky Way have shown that the profile in the diffuse interstellar medium is very similar to the amorphous silicate profiles found in circumstellar dust shells around late M stars, and narrower than the silicate profile in denser star-forming regions. Here, we investigate the silicate absorption profile towards the very heavily obscured nucleus of NGC 4418, the galaxy with the deepest known silicate absorption feature, and compare it to the profiles seen in the Milky Way. Comparison between the 8-13 micron spectrum obtained with TReCS on Gemini and the larger aperture spectrum obtained from the Spitzer archive indicates that the former isolates the nuclear emission, while Spitzer detects low surface brightness circumnuclear diffuse emission in addition. The silicate absorption profile towards the nucleus is very similar to that in the diffuse ISM in the Milky Way with no evidence of spectral structure from crystalline silicates or silicon carbide grains.

The spatially resolved Kennicutt-Schmidt relation in the HI dominated regions of spiral and dwarf irregular galaxies

We study the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation between average star formation rate and average cold gas surface density in the Hi dominated ISM of nearby spiral and dwarf irregular galaxies. We divide the galaxies into grid cells varying from sub-kpc to tens of kpc in size. Grid-cell measurements of low SFRs using H-alpha emission can be biased and scatter may be introduced because of non-uniform sampling of the IMF or because of stochastically varying star formation. In order to alleviate these issues, we use far-ultraviolet emission to trace SFR, and we sum up the fluxes from different bins with the same gas surface density to calculate the average $\Sigma_{SFR}$ at a given value of $\Sigma_{gas}$. We study the resulting Kennicutt-Schmidt relation in 400 pc, 1 kpc and 10 kpc scale grids in nearby massive spirals and in 400 pc scale grids in nearby faint dwarf irregulars. We find a relation with a power law slope of 1.5 in the HI-dominated regions for both kinds of galaxies. The relation is offset towards longer gas consumption timescales compared to the molecular hydrogen dominated centres of spirals, but the offset is an order-of-magnitude less than that quoted by earlier studies. Our results lead to the surprising conclusion that conversion of gas to stars is independent of metallicity in the HI dominated regions of star-forming galaxies. Our observed relations are better fit by a model of star formation based on thermal and hydrostatic equilibrium in the ISM, in which feedback driven turbulence sets the thermal pressure.

Synchrotron spectral index and interstellar medium densities of star-forming galaxies

The spectral index of synchrotron emission is an important parameter in understanding the properties of cosmic ray electrons (CREs) and the interstellar medium (ISM). We determine the synchrotron spectral index ($\alpha_{\rm nt}$) of four nearby star-forming galaxies, namely NGC 4736, NGC 5055, NGC 5236 and NGC 6946 at sub-kpc linear scales. The $\alpha_{\rm nt}$ was determined between 0.33 and 1.4 GHz for all the galaxies. We find the spectral index to be flatter ($\gtrsim -0.7$) in regions with total neutral (atomic + molecular) gas surface density, $\Sigma_{\rm gas} \gtrsim \rm 50~M_\odot pc^{-2}$, typically in the arms and inner parts of the galaxies. In regions with $\Sigma_{\rm gas} \lesssim \rm 50~M_\odot pc^{-2}$, especially in the interarm and outer regions of the galaxies, the spectral index steepens sharply to $<-1.0$. The flattening of $\alpha_{\rm nt}$ is unlikely to be caused due to thermal free–free absorption at 0.33 GHz. Our result is consistent with the scenario where the CREs emitting at frequencies below $\sim0.3$ GHz are dominated by bremsstrahlung and/or ionization losses. For denser medium ($\Sigma_{\rm gas} \gtrsim \rm 200~M_\odot pc^{-2}$), having strong magnetic fields ($\sim 30~\mu$G), $\alpha_{\rm nt}$ is seen to be flatter than $-0.5$, perhaps caused due to ionization losses. We find that, due to the clumpy nature of the ISM, such dense regions cover only a small fraction of the galaxy ($\lesssim5$ percent). Thus, the galaxy-integrated spectrum may not show indication of such loss mechanisms and remain a power-law over a wide range of radio frequencies (between $\sim 0.1$ to 10 GHz).

Isotope Anomalies in the Fe-group Elements in Meteorites and Connection to Nucleosynthesis in AGB Stars

We study the effects of neutron captures in AGB stars on \oq Fe-group\cqb elements, with an emphasis on Cr, Fe, and Ni. These elements show anomalies in $^{54}$Cr, $^{58}$Fe, and $^{64}$Ni in solar-system materials, which are commonly attributed to SNe. However, as large fractions of the interstellar medium (ISM) were reprocessed in AGB stars, these elements were reprocessed, too. We calculate the effects of such reprocessing on Cr, Fe, and Ni through 1.5\msb and 3\msb AGB models, adopting solar and 1/3 solar metallicities. All cases produce excesses of $^{54}$Cr, $^{58}$Fe, and $^{64}$Ni, while the other isotopes are little altered; hence, the observations may be explained by AGB processing. The results are robust and not dependent on the detailed initial isotopic composition. Consequences for other \oq Fe group\cqb elements are then explored. They include $^{50}$Ti excesses, and some production of $^{46,47,49}$Ti. In many circumstellar condensates, Ti quantitatively reflects these effects of AGB neutron captures. Scatter in the data results from small variations (granularity) in the isotopic composition of the local ISM. For Si, the main effects are instead due to variations in the local ISM from different SNe sources. The problem of Ca is discussed, particularly with regard to $^{48}$Ca. The measured data are usually represented assuming terrestrial values for $^{42}$Ca/$^{44}$Ca. Materials processed in AGB stars or sources with variable initial $^{42}$Ca/$^{44}$Ca ratios can give apparent $^{48}$Ca excesses/deficiencies, attributed to SNe. The broader issue of Galactic Chemical Evolution is also discussed in view of the isotopic granularity in the ISM. \end{abstract}

Evidence for feedback in action from the molecular gas content in the z~1.6 outflowing QSO XID2028

Gas outflows are believed to play a pivotal role in shaping galaxies, as they regulate both star formation and black hole growth. Despite their ubiquitous presence, the origin and the acceleration mechanism of such powerful and extended winds is not yet understood. Direct observations of the cold gas component in objects with detected outflows at other wavelengths are needed to assess the impact of the outflow on the host galaxy interstellar medium (ISM). We observed with the Plateau de Bure Interferometer an obscured quasar at z~1.5, XID2028, for which the presence of an ionised outflow has been unambiguously signalled by NIR spectroscopy. The detection of CO(3-2) emission in this source allows us to infer the molecular gas content and compare it to the ISM mass derived from the dust emission. We then analyze the results in the context of recent insights on scaling relations, which describe the gas content of the overall population of star-forming galaxies at a similar redshifts. The Star formation efficiency (~100) and gas mass (M_gas=2.1-9.5×10^{10} M_sun) inferred from the CO(3-2) line depend on the underlying assumptions on the excitation of the transition and the CO-to-H2 conversion factor. However, the combination of this information and the ISM mass estimated from the dust mass suggests that the ISM/gas content of XID2028 is significantly lower than expected for its observed M$_\star$, sSFR and redshift, based on the most up-to-date calibrations (with gas fraction <20% and depletion time scale <340 Myr). Overall, the constraints we obtain from the far infrared and millimeter data suggest that we are observing QSO feedback able to remove the gas from the host

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 [Replacement]

Gas and dust in star-forming galaxies at the peak epoch of galaxy assembly are presently the topic of intense study, but 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 (H$_2$) 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 0.32 Jy km/s on the flux of the CO($J$=2$\rightarrow$1) line or $L’_{\rm CO}$$<$8.8$\times$10$^{9}$ K km/s pc$^2$, assuming a disk-like CO-morphology and a circular velocity scaling with the stellar velocity dispersion as in local early-type galaxies (ETGs). This translates to an H$_2$ mass of $<$3.9$\times$10$^{10}$($\alpha_{\rm CO}$/4.4)$M_{\odot}$ or a gas fraction of $\lesssim$6% assuming a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF) and an ISM dominated by H$_2$, as observed in many local, high-mass ellipticals. This low value 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 lesser role for inhibitive mechanisms like morphological quenching.

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 [Replacement]

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.

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.

 

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