Posts Tagged ism

Recent Postings from ism

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.

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

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.

AGN-stimulated Cooling of Hot Gas in Elliptical Galaxies [Replacement]

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 [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.

 

You need to log in to vote

The blog owner requires users to be logged in to be able to vote for this post.

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.

Powered by Vote It Up

^ Return to the top of page ^