Posts Tagged ism

Recent Postings from ism

Transport of charged dust grains into the galactic halo

We develop a 3D dynamical model of dust outflows from galactic discs. The outflows are initiated by multiple SN explosions in a magnetized interstellar medium (ISM) with a gravitationally stratified density distribution. Dust grains are treated as particles in cells interacting collisionally with gas, and forced by stellar radiation of the disc and Lorenz force. We show that magnetic field plays a crucial role in accelerating the charged dust grains and expelling them out of the disc: in 10–20~Myr they can be elevated at distances up to 10~kpc above the galactic plane. The dust-to-gas ratio in the outflowing medium varies in the range $5 \cdot 10^{-4} – 5 \cdot 10^{-2}$ along the vertical stream. Overall the dust mass loss rate depends on the parameters of ISM and may reach up to $3\times 10^{-2}$~\Msun~yr$^{-1}$

First time-dependent study of H2 and H3+ ortho-para chemistry in the diffuse ISM

The chemistry in the diffuse interstellar medium initiates the gradual increase of molecular complexity during the life cycle of matter. A key molecule that enables build-up of new molecular bonds and new molecules via proton-donation is H$_3^+$. Its evolution is tightly related to molecular hydrogen and thought to be well understood. However, recent observations of ortho and para lines of H$_2$ and H$_3^+$ in the diffuse ISM showed a puzzling discrepancy in nuclear spin excitation temperatures and populations between these two key species. H$_3^+$, unlike H$_2$, seems to be out of thermal equilibrium, contrary to the predictions of modern astrochemical models. We conduct the first time-dependent modeling of the para-fractions of H$_2$ and H$_3^+$ in the diffuse ISM and compare our results to a set of line-of-sight observations, including new measurements presented in this study. We isolate a set of key reactions for H$_3^+$ and find that the destruction of the lowest rotational states of H$_3^+$ by dissociative recombination largely control its ortho/para ratio. A plausible agreement with observations cannot be achieved unless a ratio larger than 1:5 for the destruction of (1,1)- and (1,0)-states of H$_3^+$ is assumed. Additionally, an increased CR ionization rate to $10^{-15}$ s$^{-1}$ further improves the fit whereas variations of other individual physical parameters, such as density and chemical age, have only a minor effect on the predicted ortho/para ratios. Thus our study calls for new laboratory measurements of the dissociative recombination rate and branching ratio of the key ion H$_{3}^{+}$ under interstellar conditions.

Joint XMM-Newton and Chandra Observations of the NGC 1407/1400 Complex: a Tail of an Early-Type Galaxy and a Tale of a Nearby Merging Group

The nearby group centered on its bright central galaxy NGC 1407 has been suggested to be an unusually dark system from previous kinematic studies. It is also known for hosting a bright galaxy, NGC 1400, with a large radial velocity (1200 km s$^{-1}$) with respect to the group center. Previous ROSAT X-ray observations revealed an extended region of enhanced surface brightness just eastward of NGC 1400. We investigate the NGC 1407/1400 complex with XMM-Newton and Chandra observations. We find that the temperature and metallicity of the enhanced region are different (cooler and more metal rich) than those of the surrounding group gas, but consistent with those of the ISM in NGC 1400. The relative velocity of NGC 1400 is large enough that much of its ISM could have been ram pressure stripped while plunging through the group atmosphere. We conclude that the enhanced region is likely to be hot gas stripped from the ISM of NGC 1400. We constrain the motion of NGC 1400 using the the pressure jump at its associated stagnation front and the total mass profile of the NGC 1407 group. We conclude that NGC 1400 is moving within ~$30^{\circ}$ of the line-of-sight with Mach number $\mathcal{M}\lesssim3$. We do not detect any obvious shock features in this complex, perhaps due to the highly line-of-sight motion of NGC 1400. With an {\sl XMM-Newton} pointing on the relatively relaxed eastern side of NGC 1407, we derive a hydrostatic mass for this group of ~$\times 10^{13}$ $M_\odot$ within 100 kpc. The total mass extrapolated to the virial radius (681 kpc) is 3.8$\times 10^{13}$ $M_\odot$, which puts an upper limit of ~300 $M_\odot/L_{B_\odot}$ on the mass-to-light ratio of this group. This suggests that the NGC 1407 group is not an unusually dark group.

Three Dimensional Hydrodynamic Simulations of Multiphase Galactic Disks with Star Formation Feedback: II. Synthetic HI 21 cm Line Observations

We use three-dimensional numerical hydrodynamic simulations of the turbulent, multiphase atomic interstellar medium (ISM) to construct and analyze synthetic HI 21 cm emission and absorption lines. Our analysis provides detailed tests of 21 cm observables as physical diagnostics of the atomic ISM. In particular, we construct (1) the "observed" spin temperature, $T_{s,obs}(v_{ch})\equiv T_B(v_{ch})/[1-e^{-{\tau}(v_{ch})}]$, and its optical-depth weighted mean T_s,obs; (2) the absorption-corrected "observed" column density, $N_{H,obs}\propto \int dv_{ch} T_B(v_{ch}){\tau}(v_{ch})/[[1-e^{-{\tau}(v_{ch})}]$; and (3) the "observed" fraction of cold neutral medium (CNM), $f_{c,obs}\equiv T_c/T_{s,obs}$ for T_c the CNM temperature; we compare each observed parameter with true values obtained from line-of-sight (LOS) averages in the simulation. Within individual velocity channels, T_s,obs(v_ch) is within a factor 1.5 of the true value up to ${\tau}(v_{ch})\approx10$. As a consequence, N_H,obs and T_s,obs are respectively within 5% and 12% of the true values for 90% and 99% of LOSs. The optically thin approximation significantly underestimates N_H for ${\tau}>1$. Provided that T_c is constrained, an accurate observational estimate of the CNM mass fraction can be obtained down to 20%. We show that T_s,obs cannot be used to distinguish the relative proportions of warm and thermally-unstable atomic gas, although the presence of thermally-unstable gas can be discerned from 21 cm lines with 200K<$T_{s,obs}(v_{ch})$<1000K. Our mock observations successfully reproduce and explain the observed distribution of the brightness temperature, optical depth, and spin temperature in Roy et al. (2013a). The threshold column density for CNM seen in observations is also reproduced by our mock observations. We explain this observed threshold behavior in terms of vertical equilibrium in the local Milky Way’s ISM disk.

Grain opacity and the bulk composition of extrasolar planets. I. Results from scaling the ISM opacity

The opacity due to grains in the envelope of a protoplanet regulates the accretion rate of gas during formation, thus the final bulk composition of planets with primordial H/He is a function of it. Observationally, for exoplanets with known mass and radius it is possible to estimate the bulk composition via internal structure models. We first determine the reduction factor of the ISM grain opacity f_opa that leads to gas accretion rates consistent with grain evolution models. We then compare the bulk composition of synthetic low-mass and giant planets at different f_opa with observations. For f_opa=1 (full ISM opacity) the synthetic low-mass planets have too small radii, i.e., too low envelope masses compared to observations. At f_opa=0.003, the value calibrated with the grain evolution models, synthetic and actual planets occupy similar mass-radius loci. The mean enrichment of giant planets relative to the host star as a function of planet mass M can be approximated as Z_p/Z_star = beta*(M/M_Jup)^alpha. We find alpha=-0.7 independent of f_opa in synthetic populations in agreement with the observational result (-0.71+-0.10). The absolute enrichment level decreases from beta=8.5 at f_opa=1 to 3.5 at f_opa=0. At f_opa=0.003 one finds beta=7.2 which is similar to the observational result (6.3+-1.0). We thus find observational hints that the opacity in protoplanetary atmospheres is much smaller than in the ISM even if the specific value of the grain opacity cannot be constrained here. The result for the enrichment of giant planets helps to distinguish core accretion and gravitational instability. In the simplest picture of core accretion where first a critical core forms and afterwards only gas is added, alpha=-1. If a core accretes all planetesimals inside the feeding zone, alpha=-2/3. The observational result lies between these values, pointing to core accretion as the formation mechanism.

The scale height of gas traced by [CII] in the Galactic plane

The distribution of various interstellar gas components and the pressure in the interstellar medium (ISM) is a result of the interplay of different dynamical mechanisms and energy sources on the gas in the Milky Way. The scale heights of the different gas tracers, such as HI and CO, are a measure of these processes. The scale height of [CII] emission in the Galactic plane is important for understanding those ISM components not traced by CO or HI. We determine the average distribution of [CII] perpendicular to the plane in the inner Galactic disk and compare it to the distributions of other key gas tracers, such as CO and HI. We calculated the vertical, z, distribution of [CII] in the inner Galactic disk by adopting a model for the emission that combines the latitudinal, b, spectrally unresolved BICE survey, with the spectrally resolved $Herschel$ Galactic plane survey of [CII] at b = 0 deg. Our model assumed a Gaussian emissivity distribution vertical to the plane, and related the distribution in z to that of the latitude b using the spectrally resolved [CII] Herschel survey as the boundary solution for the emissivity at b=0 deg. We find that the distribution of [CII] perpendicular to the plane has a full-width half-maximum of 172 pc, larger than that of CO, which averages ~110 pc in the inner Galaxy, but smaller than that of HI, ~230 pc, and is offset by -28 pc. We explain the difference in distributions of [CII], CO, and HI as due to [CII] tracing a mix of ISM components. Models of hydrostatic equilibrium of clouds in the disk predict different scale heights, for the same interstellar pressure. The diffuse molecular clouds with [CII] but no CO emission likely have a scale height intermediate between the low density atomic hydrogen HI clouds and the dense CO molecular clouds.

Coreshine in L1506C - Evidence for a primitive big-grain component or indication for a turbulent core history?

The recently discovered coreshine effect can aid in exploring the core properties and in probing the large grain population of the ISM. We discuss the implications of the coreshine detected from the molecular cloud core L1506C in the Taurus filament for the history of the core and the existence of a primitive ISM component of large grains becoming visible in cores. The coreshine surface brightness of L1506C is determined from IRAC Spitzer images at 3.6 micron. We perform grain growth calculations to estimate the grain size distribution in model cores similar in gas density, radius, and turbulent velocity to L1506C. Scattered light intensities at 3.6 micron are calculated for a variety of MRN and grain growth distributions to compare with the observed coreshine. For a core with the overall physical properties of L1506C, no detectable coreshine is predicted for an MRN size distribution. Extending the distribution to grain radii of about 0.65 $\mu$m allows to reproduce the observed surface brightness level in scattered light. Assuming the properties of L1506C to be preserved, models for the growth of grains in cores do not yield sufficient scattered light to account for the coreshine within the lifetime of the Taurus complex. Only increasing the core density and the turbulence amplifies the scattered light intensity to a level consistent with the observed coreshine brightness. The grains could be part of primitive omni-present large grain population becoming visible in the densest part of the ISM, could grow under the turbulent dense conditions of former cores, or in L1506C itself. In the later case, L1506C must have passed through a period of larger density and stronger turbulence. This would be consistent with the surprisingly strong depletion usually attributed to high column densities, and with the large-scale outward motion of the core envelope observed today.

Optically thick HI dominant in the local interstellar medium; an alternative interpretation to "dark gas"

Dark gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) is believed to be not detectable either in CO or HI radio emission, but it is detected in the other means including gamma-rays, dust emission and extinction. In these analyses, the 21-cm HI emission is usually assumed to be completely optically thin. We have reanalyzed the HI emission from the whole sky at |b|>15 degrees by considering temperature stratification in the ISM inferred from the Planck/IRAS analysis of the dust properties. The results indicate that the HI emission is saturated with an optical depth ranging from 0.5 to 5 for 80 % of the local HI gas. This optically thick HI is characterized by spin temperature in the range 15 K – 70 K, significantly lower than previously postulated in the literature, whereas such low temperature is consistent with emission/absorption measurements of HI toward radio continuum sources. The distribution and the column density of the HI are consistent with those of the dark gas suggested by gamma-rays, and we infer that the dark gas in the Galaxy is dominated by optically thick cold HI gas. This result implies that the average density of HI is two times higher than that derived on the optically-thin assumption in the local interstellar space.

The Milky Way as a Star Formation Engine

The cycling of material from the interstellar medium (ISM) into stars and the return of stellar ejecta into the ISM is the engine that drives the “galactic ecology” in normal spirals, a cornerstone in the formation and evolution of galaxies through cosmic time. Major observational and theoretical challenges need to be addressed in determining the processes responsible for converting the low-density ISM into dense molecular clouds, forming dense filaments and clumps, fragmenting them into stars, OB associations and bound clusters, and characterizing the feedback that limits the rate and efficiency of star formation. This formidable task can be now effectively attacked thanks to the combination of new global-scale surveys of the Milky Way Galactic Plane from infrared to radio wavelengths, offering the possibility of bridging the gap between local and extragalactic star formation studies. The Herschel, Spitzer and WISE mid to far infrared continuum surveys, complemented by analogue surveys from ground-based facilities in the millimetre and radio wavelengths, enables us to measure the Galactic distribution and physical properties of dust on all scales and in all components of the ISM from diffuse clouds to filamentary complexes and tens of thousands of dense clumps. A complementary suite of spectroscopic surveys in various atomic and molecular tracers is providing the chemical fingerprinting of dense clumps and filaments, as well as essential kinematic information to derive distances and thus transform panoramic data into a 3D representation. The latest results emerging from these Galaxy-scale surveys are reviewed. New insights into cloud formation and evolution, filaments and their relationship to channeling gas onto gravitationally-bound clumps, the properties of these clumps, density thresholds for gravitational collapse, and star and cluster formation rates are discussed.

Interstellar gamma-ray emission from cosmic rays in star-forming galaxies

Fermi/LAT observations of star-forming galaxies in the ~0.1-100GeV range have made possible a first population study. Evidence was found for a correlation between gamma-ray luminosity and tracers of the star formation activity. Studying galactic cosmic rays (CRs) in various global conditions can yield information about their origin and transport in the interstellar medium (ISM). This work addresses the question of the scaling laws that can be expected for the interstellar gamma-ray emission as a function of global galactic properties, with the goal of establishing whether the current experimental data in the GeV range can be constraining. I developed a 2D model for the non-thermal emissions from steady-state CR populations interacting with the ISM in star-forming galaxies. Most CR-related parameters were taken from Milky Way studies, and a large number of galaxies were then simulated with sizes from 4 to 40kpc, several gas distributions, and star formation rates (SFR) covering six orders of magnitude. The evolution of the gamma-ray luminosity over the 100keV-100TeV range is presented, with emphasis on the contribution of the different emission processes and particle populations, and on the transition between transport regimes. The model can reproduce the normalisation and trend inferred from the Fermi/LAT population study over most of the SFR range. This is obtained with a plain diffusion scheme, a single diffusion coefficient, and the assumption that CRs experience large-scale volume-averaged interstellar conditions. There is, however, no universal relation between high-energy gamma-ray luminosity and star formation activity, as illustrated by the scatter introduced by different galactic global properties and the downturn in gamma-ray emission at the low end (abridged).

The New Model of Chemical Evolution of r-process Elements Based on The Hierarchical Galaxy Formation I: Ba and Eu

We investigate the chemical enrichment of r-process elements in the early evolutionary stages of the Milky Way halo within the framework of hierarchical galaxy formation using a semi-analytic merger tree. In this paper, we focus on heavy r-process elements, Ba and Eu, of extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars and give constraints on their astronomical sites. Our models take into account changes of the surface abundances of EMP stars by the accretion of interstellar matter (ISM). We also consider metal-enrichment of intergalactic medium (IGM) by galactic winds and the resultant pre-enrichment of proto-galaxies. The trend and scatter of the observed r-process abundances are well reproduced by our hierarchical model with $\sim 10\%$ of core-collapse supernovae in low-mass end ($\sim 10M_{\odot}$) as a dominant r-process source and the star formation efficiency of $\sim 10^{-10} \hbox{yr}^{-1}$. For neutron star mergers as an r-process source, their coalescence timescale has to be $ \sim 10^7$yrs, and the event rates $\sim 100$ times larger than currently observed in the Galaxy. We find that the accretion of ISM is a dominant source of r-process elements for stars with [Ba/H] < -3.5. In this model, a majority of stars at [Fe/H] < -3 are formed without r-process elements but their surfaces are polluted by the ISM accretion. The pre-enrichment affects $\sim 4\%$ of proto-galaxies, and yet, is surpassed by the ISM accretion in the surface of EMP stars.

Radiative and mechanical feedback into the molecular gas of NGC 253

Starburst galaxies are undergoing intense periods of star formation. Understanding the heating and cooling mechanisms in these galaxies can give us insight to the driving mechanisms that fuel the starburst. Molecular emission lines play a crucial role in the cooling of the excited gas. With SPIRE on the Herschel Space Observatory we have observed the rich molecular spectrum towards the central region of NGC 253. CO transitions from J=4-3 to 13-12 are observed and together with low-J line fluxes from ground based observations, these lines trace the excitation of CO. By studying the CO excitation ladder and comparing the intensities to models, we investigate whether the gas is excited by UV radiation, X-rays, cosmic rays, or turbulent heating. Comparing the $^{12}$CO and $^{13}$CO observations to large velocity gradient models and PDR models we find three main ISM phases. We estimate the density, temperature,and masses of these ISM phases. By adding $^{13}$CO, HCN, and HNC line intensities, we are able to constrain these degeneracies and determine the heating sources. The first ISM phase responsible for the low-J CO lines is excited by PDRs, but the second and third phases, responsible for the mid to high-J CO transitions, require an additional heating source. We find three possible combinations of models that can reproduce our observed molecular emission. Although we cannot determine which of these are preferable, we can conclude that mechanical heating is necessary to reproduce the observed molecular emission and cosmic ray heating is a negligible heating source. We then estimate the mass of each ISM phase; $6\times 10^7$ M$_\odot$ for phase 1 (low-J CO lines), $3\times 10^7$ M$_\odot$ for phase 2 (mid-J CO lines), and $9\times 10^6$ M$_\odot$ for phase 3 (high-J CO lines) for a total system mass of $1\times10^{8}$ M$_\odot$.

The Evolution of ISM Mass Probed by Dust Emission -- ALMA Observations at z = 0.3 to 2 [Replacement]

The use of submm dust continuum emission to probe the mass of interstellar dust and gas in galaxies is empirically calibrated using samples of local star forming galaxies, Planck observations of the Milky Way and high redshift submm galaxies (SMGs). All of these objects suggest a similar calibration, strongly supporting the view that the Rayleigh-Jeans (RJ) tail of the dust emission can be used as an accurate and very fast probe of the ISM in galaxies. We present ALMA Cycle 0 observations of the Band 7 (350 GHz) dust emission in 107 galaxies from z = 0.2 to 2.5. Three samples of galaxies with a total of 101 galaxies were stellar mass-selected from COSMOS to have $M_* \simeq10^{11}$\msun: 37 at z$\sim0.4$, 33 at z$\sim0.9$ and 31 at z$=2$. A fourth sample with 6 IR luminous galaxies at z = 2 was observed for comparison with the purely mass-selected samples. From the fluxes detected in the stacked images for each sample, we find that the ISM content has decreased a factor $\sim 6$ from $1 – 2 \times 10^{10}$\msun at both z = 2 and 0.9 down to $\sim 2 \times 10^9$\msun at z = 0.4. The IR luminous sample at z = 2 shows a further $\sim 4$ times increase in M$_{ISM}$ compared to the equivalent non-IR bright sample at the same redshift. The gas mass fractions are $\sim 2\pm0.5, 12\pm3, 14\pm2 ~\rm{and} ~53\pm3$ $%$ for the four subsamples (z = 0.4, 0.9, 2 and IR bright galaxies).

Dust origin in late-type dwarf galaxies: ISM growth vs. type II supernovae [Replacement]

We re-evaluate the roles of different dust sources in dust production as a function of metallicity in late-type dwarf galaxies, with the goal of understanding the relation between dust content and metallicity. The dust content of late-type dwarf galaxies with episodic star formation is studied with a multicomponent model of dust evolution, which includes dust input from AGB stars, type II SNe and dust mass growth by accretion of gas species in the ISM. Dust growth in the ISM becomes an important dust source in dwarf galaxies, on the timescale of 0.1 – few Gyrs. It increases the dust-to-gas ratio (DGR) during post-burst evolution, unlike type II SNe, which eject grains into the ISM only during starbursts. Before the dust growth in the ISM overtakes the dust production, AGB stars can be major sources of dust in metal-poor dwarf galaxies. Our models reproduce the relation between the DGR and oxygen abundance, derived from observations of a large sample of dwarf galaxies. The steep decrease in the DGR at low O values is explained by the relatively low efficiency of dust condensation in stars. The scatter observed at higher O values is determined mainly by different critical metallicities for the transition from stardust- to ISM-growth dominated dust production, depending on the star formation history. In galaxies with episodic star formation, additional dispersion in the DGR is introduced by grain destruction during starbursts, followed by an increase of the dust mass due to dust growth in the ISM during post-burst evolution. We find that the carbon-to-silicate ratio changes dramatically, when the ISM growth becomes the dominant dust source, therefore this ratio can be used as an indicator of the transition. The observed DGR-O relation in dwarf galaxies favours low condensation efficiencies in type II SNe, together with an increase in the total dust mass by means of dust growth in the ISM.

Dust origin in late-type dwarf galaxies: ISM growth vs. type II supernovae

We re-evaluate the roles of different dust sources in dust production as a function of metallicity in late-type dwarf galaxies, with the goal of understanding the relation between dust content and metallicity. The dust content ol late-type dwarf galaxies with episodic star formation is studied with a multicomponent model of dust evolution, which includes dust input from AGB stars, type II SNe and dust growth by accretion of atoms in the ISM. Dust growth in the ISM becomes an important dust source in dwarf galaxies, on the timescale of 0.1 – a few Gyrs. It increases the dust-to-gas ratio (DGR) during post-burst evolution, unlike type II SNe, which eject grains to the ISM only during starbursts. Before the dust growth in the ISM overtakes the dust production, AGB stars can be major sources of dust in metal-poor dwarf galaxies. Our models reproduce the relation between the DGR and oxygen abundance, derived from observations of a large sample of dwarf galaxies. The steep decrease in the DGR at low O values is explained by the relatively low efficiency of dust condensation in stars. The scatter observed at higher O values is determined mainly by different critical metallicities for the transition from stardust- to ISM-growth dominated dust production, depending on the star formation history. In galaxies with episodic star formation, additional dispersion in the DGR is introduced by grain destruction during starbursts, followed by an increase of the dust mass due to dust growth in the ISM during post-burst evolution. We find that the carbon-to-silicate ratio changes dramatically, when the ISM growth becomes the dominant dust source, therefore this ratio can be used as an indicator of the transition. The observed DGR-O relation in dwarf galaxies favours low condensation efficiencies in type II SNe, together with an increase in the total dust mass by means of dust growth in the ISM.

Abundance Patterns in the Interstellar Medium of Early-type Galaxies Observed with Suzaku

We have analyzed 17 early-type galaxies, 13 ellipticals and 4 S0′s, observed with Suzaku, and investigated metal abundances (O, Mg, Si, and Fe) and abundance ratios (O/Fe, Mg/Fe, and Si/Fe) in the interstellar medium (ISM). The emission from each on-source region, which is 4 times effective radius, r_e, is reproduced with one- or two- temperature thermal plasma models as well as a multi-temperature model, using APEC plasma code v2.0.1. The multi-temperature model gave almost the same abundances and abundance ratios with the 1T or 2T models. The weighted averages of the O, Mg, Si, and Fe abundances of all the sample galaxies derived from the multi-temperature model fits are 0.83+-0.04, 0.93+-0.03, 0.80+-0.02, and 0.80+-0.02 solar, respectively, in solar units according to the solar abundance table by Lodders (2003). These abundances show no significant dependence on the morphology and environment. The systematic differences in the derived metal abundances between the version 2.0.1 and 1.3.1 of APEC plasma codes were investigated. The derived O and Mg abundances in the ISM agree with the stellar metallicity within a aperture with a radius of one r_e derived from optical spectroscopy. From these results, we discuss the past and present SN Ia rates and star formation histories in early-type galaxies.

HST Imaging of Decoupled Dust Clouds in the Ram Pressure Stripped Virgo Spirals NGC 4402 and NGC 4522

We present the highest-resolution study to date of the ISM in galaxies undergoing ram pressure stripping, using HST BVI imaging of NGC 4522 and NGC 4402, Virgo Cluster spirals that are well-known to be experiencing ICM ram pressure. We find that throughout most of both galaxies, the main dust lane has a fairly well-defined edge, with a population of GMC-sized (tens- to hundreds-of-pc scale), isolated, highly extincting dust clouds located up to ~1.5 kpc radially beyond it. Outside of these dense clouds, the area has little or no diffuse dust extinction, indicating that the clouds have decoupled from the lower-density ISM material that has already been stripped. Several of the dust clouds have elongated morphologies that indicate active ram pressure, including two large (kpc-scale) filaments in NGC 4402 that are elongated in the projected ICM wind direction. We calculate a lower limit on the HI + H_2 masses of these clouds based on their dust extinctions and find that a correction factor of ~10 gives cloud masses consistent with those measured in CO for clouds of similar diameters, probably due to the complicating factors of foreground light, cloud substructure, and resolution limitations. Assuming that the clouds’ actual masses are consistent with those of GMCs of similar diameters (~10^4-10^5 M_sun), we estimate that only a small fraction (~1-10%) of the original HI + H_2 remains in the parts of the disks with decoupled clouds. Based on H-alpha images, a similar fraction of star formation persists in these regions, 2-3% of the estimated pre-stripping star formation rate. We find that the decoupled cloud lifetimes may be up to 150-200 Myr.

A thin diffuse component of the Galactic Ridge X-ray emission and heating of the interstellar medium contributed by the radiation of Galactic X-ray binaries [Replacement]

We predict a thin (scale height $\sim$ 80 pc) diffuse component of the Galactic Ridge X-ray emission (GRXE) arising from the scattering of the radiation of bright X-ray binaries (XBs) by the interstellar medium (ISM). The morphology of this scattered component is expected to trace the clumpy molecular and HI clouds. We calculate this contribution to the GRXE from known Galactic XBs assuming that they are all persistent. The known XBs sample is incomplete, however, because it is flux limited and spans the lifetime of X-ray astronomy ($\sim 50$ years). We therefore also use a simulated sample of sources, to estimate the diffuse emission we should expect in an optimistic case assuming that the X-ray luminosity of our Galaxy is on average similar to that of other galaxies. In the calculations we also take into account the enhancement of the total scattering cross-section due to coherence effects in the elastic scattering from multi-electron atoms and molecules. This scattered emission can be distinguished from the contribution of low X-ray luminosity stars by the presence of narrow fluorescent K-$\alpha$ lines of Fe, Si, and other abundant elements present in the ISM and by directly resolving the contribution of low X-ray luminosity stars. We find that within $1^\circ$ latitude of the Galactic plane the scattered emission contributes on average $10-30\%$ of the GRXE flux in the case of known sources and over $50\%$ in the case of simulated sources. In the latter case, the scattered component is found to even dominate the stellar emission in certain parts of the Galactic plane. X-rays with energies $\gtrsim 1$ keV from XBs should also penetrate deep inside the HI and molecular clouds, where they are absorbed and heat the ISM. We find that this heating rate dominates the heating by cosmic rays (assuming a solar neighborhood energy density) in a considerable part of the Galaxy. [abridged]

Can the magnetic field in the Orion arm inhibit the growth of instabilities in the bow shock of Betelgeuse?

Many evolved stars travel through space at supersonic velocities, which leads to the formation of bow shocks ahead of the star where the stellar wind collides with the interstellar medium (ISM). Herschel observations of the bow shock of $\alpha$-Orionis show that the shock is almost free of instabilities, despite being, at least in theory, subject to both Kelvin-Helmholtz and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. A possible explanation for the lack of instabilities lies in the presence of an interstellar magnetic field. We wish to investigate whether the magnetic field of the interstellar medium (ISM) in the Orion arm can inhibit the growth of instabilities in the bow shock of $\alpha$-Orionis. We used the code MPI-AMRVAC to make magneto-hydrodynamic simulations of a circumstellar bow shock, using the wind parameters derived for $\alpha$-Orionis and interstellar magnetic field strengths of $B\,=\,1.4,\, 3.0$, and $5.0\, \mu$G, which fall within the boundaries of the observed magnetic field strength in the Orion arm of the Milky Way. Our results show that even a relatively weak magnetic field in the interstellar medium can suppress the growth of Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, which occur along the contact discontinuity between the shocked wind and the shocked ISM. The presence of even a weak magnetic field in the ISM effectively inhibits the growth of instabilities in the bow shock. This may explain the absence of such instabilities in the Herschel observations of $\alpha$-Orionis.

Prospects of Turbulence Studies in High-Energy Density Laser-Generated Plasma: Numerical Investigations in Two Dimensions [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the possibility of generating and studying turbulence in plasma by means of high-energy density laser-driven experiments. Our focus is to create supersonic, self-magnetized turbulence with characteristics that resemble those found in the interstellar medium (ISM). We consider a target made of a spherical core surrounded by a shell made of denser material. The shell is irradiated by a sequence of laser pulses sending inward-propagating shocks that convert the inner core into plasma and create turbulence. In the context of the evolution of the ISM, the shocks play the role of supernova remnant shocks and the core represents the ionized interstellar medium. We consider the effects of both pre-existing and self-generating magnetic fields and study the evolution of the system by means of two-dimensional numerical simulations. We find that the evolution of the turbulent core is generally, subsonic with rms-Mach number $M_t\approx 0.2$. We observe an isotropic, turbulent velocity field with an inertial range power spectra of $P(k)\propto k^{-2.3}$. We account for the effects of self-magnetization and find that the resulting magnetic field has characteristic strength $\approx 3\times 10^{4}$ G. The corresponding plasma beta is $\approx 1\times 10^{4}$–$1\times 10^{5}$, indicating that the magnetic field does not play an important role in the dynamical evolution of the system. The natural extension of this work is to study the system evolution in three-dimensions, with various laser drive configurations, and targets with shells and cores of different masses. The latter modification may help to increase the turbulent intensity and possibly create transonic turbulence. One of the key challenges is to obtain transonic turbulent conditions in a quasi-steady state environment.

On the Origin of Highly Ionized X-ray Absorbers Detected in the Galactic X-ray Binaries

X-ray observations of the Galactic X-ray binaries (XRB) revealed numerous highly ionized metal absorption lines. However, it is unclear whether such lines are produced by the hot interstellar medium (ISM) or the circumstellar medium (CSM) intrinsic to the binaries. Here we present a Chandra X-ray absorption line study of 28 observations on 12 X-ray binaries, with a focus on the NeIX and FeXVII lines. We report the first detections of these lines in a significant amount of observations. We do not find significant dependence of the line equivalent width on the distance of the XRBs, but we do see weak dependence on the source X-ray luminosity. We also find two out of twelve selected targets show strong temporal variation of the NeIX absorbers. While the line ratio between the two ion species suggests a temperature consistent with the previous predictions of the ISM, comparing with two theoretical models of the ISM shows the observed column densities are significantly higher than predictions. On the other hand, photoionzation by the XRBs provides reasonably good fit to the data. Our findings suggest that a significant fraction of these X-ray absorbers may originate in the hot gas intrinsic to the X-ray binaries, and that the ISM makes small, if not negligible, contribution. We briefly discuss the implications to the study of the Milky Way hot gas content.

The Pressure of the Star Forming ISM in Cosmological Simulations

We examine the pressure of the star-forming interstellar medium (ISM) of Milky-Way sized disk galaxies using fully cosmological SPH+N-body, high resolution simulations. These simulations include explicit treatment of metal-line cooling in addition to dust and self-shielding, $\mathrm{H_{2}}$ based star formation. The 4 simulated halos have masses ranging from a few times $10^{10}$ to nearly $10^{12}$ solar masses. Using a kinematic decomposition of these galaxies into present-day bulge and disk components, we find that the typical pressure of the star-forming ISM in the present-day bulge is higher than that in the present-day disk by an order of magnitude. We also find that pressure of the star-forming ISM at high redshift is on average, higher than ISM pressures at low redshift. This explains the why the bulge forms at higher pressures: the disk assembles at lower redshift, when the ISM is lower pressure and the bulge forms at high redshift, when the ISM is at higher pressure. If ISM pressure and IMF variation are tied together as suggested in studies like \cite{Conroy2012}, these results could indicate a time-dependent IMF in Milky-Way like systems, as well as a different IMF in the bulge and the disk.

Magnetized HI Fibers and the Rolling Hough Transform

We present observations of a new group of structures in the diffuse Galactic ISM: slender, linear HI features we dub "fibers" that extend for many degrees at high Galactic latitude. To characterize and measure the extent and strength of these fibers, we present the Rolling Hough Transform (RHT), a new machine vision method for parameterizing the coherent linearity of structures in the image plane. With this powerful new tool we show the fibers are oriented along the interstellar magnetic field as probed by starlight polarization. We find that these low column (N(HI) ~ 5 x 10^18 cm^-2) fiber features are most likely a component of the local cavity wall, about 100 pc away. The HI data we use to demonstrate this alignment at high latitude are from the Galactic Arecibo L-Band Feed Array HI (GALFA-HI) Survey and the Parkes Galactic All Sky Survey (GASS). We find better alignment in the higher resolution GALFA-HI data, where the fibers are more visually evident. This trend continues in our investigation of magnetically aligned linear features in the Riegel-Crutcher HI cold cloud, detected in the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS). We propose an application of the RHT for estimating the field strength in such a cloud, based on the Chandrasekhar-Fermi method. We conclude that data-driven, quantitative studies of ISM morphology can be very powerful predictors of underlying physical quantities.

3D simulations of the early stages of AGN jets: geometry, thermodynamics and backflow

We investigate the interplay between jets from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) and the surrounding InterStellar Medium (ISM) through full 3D, high resolution, Adaptive Mesh Refinement simulations performed with the FLASH code. We follow the jet- ISM system for several Myr in its transition from an early, compact source to an extended one including a large cocoon. During the jet evolution, we identify three major evolutionary stages and we find that, contrary to the prediction of popular theoretical models, none of the simulations shows a self-similar behavior. We also follow the evolution of the energy budget, and find that the fraction of input power deposited into the ISM (the AGN coupling constant) is of order of a few percent during the first few Myr. This is in broad agreement with galaxy formation models employing AGN feedback. However, we find that in these early stages, this energy is deposited only in a small fraction (< 1%) of the total ISM volume. Finally we demonstrate the relevance of backflows arising within the extended cocoon generated by a relativistic AGN jet within the ISM of its host galaxy, previously proposed as a mechanism for self-regulating the gas accretion onto the central object. These backflows tend later to be destabilized by the 3D dynamics, rather than by hydrodynamic (Kelvin- Helmholtz) instabilities. Yet, in the first few hundred thousand years, backflows may create a central accretion region of significant extent, and convey there as much as a few millions of solar masses.

Size distribution of supernova remnants and the interstellar medium: the case of M33

The size distribution of supernova remnants (SNRs) can help to clarify the various aspects of their evolution and interaction with the interstellar medium (ISM). Since the observed samples of SNRs are a collection of objects with very different ages and origin that evolve in different conditions of the ISM, statistical Monte Carlo methods can be used to model their statistical distributions. Based on very general assumptions on the evolution, we have modeled samples of SNRs at various initial and environmental conditions, which were then compared with observed collections of SNRs. In the evolution of SNRs the pressure of the ISM is taken into account, which determines their maximum sizes and lifetimes. When comparing the modeled and observed distributions, it is very important to have homogeneous observational data free from selection effects. We found that a recently published collection of SNRs in M33 (Long et al. 2010, ApJS,187,495) satisfies this requirement if we select the X-ray SNRs with hardness ratios in a limited range of values. An excellent agreement between distributions of this subset of SNRs and the subset of modeled SNRs was reached for a volume filling-factor of the warm phase of the ISM (partly ionized gas with $n_{\rm H}\sim 0.2-0.5~ \rm {cm}^{-3}; T \sim 8000-10000~K $) in M33 of $\sim\ 90%$. The statistical distributions constructed in this way, which reproduce practically all the statistical properties of observed SNRs, allowed us to obtain one of the important parameters of M33: the birthrate is one SNR every $ {140} – {150}$ yr, and the total number of SNRs with a shock Mach number $M_{s} \geq 2$ is larger than $\sim 1000$.

Two-phase model for Black Hole feeding and feedback

We study effects of AGN feedback outflows on multi-phase inter stellar medium (ISM) of the host galaxy. We argue that SMBH growth is dominated by accretion of dense cold clumps and filaments. AGN feedback outflows overtake the cold medium, compress it, and trigger a powerful starburst — a positive AGN feedback. This predicts a statistical correlation between AGN luminosity and star formation rate at high luminosities. Most of the outflow’s kinetic energy escapes from the bulge via low density voids. The cold phase is pushed outward only by the ram pressure (momentum) of the outflow. The combination of the negative and positive forms of AGN feedback leads to an $M-\sigma$ relation similar to the result of King (2003). Due to porosity of cold ISM in the bulge, SMBH influence on the low density medium of the host galaxy is significant even for SMBH well below the $M-\sigma$ mass. The role of SMBH feedback in our model evolves in space and time with the ISM structure. In the early gas rich phase, SMBH accelerates star formation in the bulge. During later gas poor (red-and-dead) phases, SMBH feedback is mostly negative everywhere due to scarcity of the cold ISM.

Galaxy Evolution: Modeling the Role of Non-thermal Pressure in the Interstellar medium [Replacement]

Galaxy evolution depends strongly on the physics of the interstellar medium (ISM). Motivated by the need to incorporate the properties of the ISM in cosmological simulations we construct a simple method to include the contribution of non-thermal components in the calculation of pressure of interstellar gas. n our method we treat three non-thermal components – turbulence, magnetic fields and cosmic rays – and effectively parametrize their amplitude. We calibrate the magnitude and density dependence of the non-thermal pressure by the observed Radio-FIR correlation relating synchrotron radiation to star formation rates of galaxies. Our main assumption is that the three components settle into a quasi-steady-state that is governed by the star formation rate. It is noteworthy that while equipartition between the three components could be a reasonable assumption, it is not necessary for the non-thermal pressure to be important. We implement our model in single cell numerical simulation of a parcel of gas with constant pressure boundary conditions and demonstrate its effect and potential. We demonstrate that the inclusion of realistic non-thermal pressure reduces the specific star formation rate by an order of magnitude and increases the gas depletion time by as much, making them consistent with observations without the need for artificially strong stellar feedback.

Dust Scattering In Turbulent Media: Correlation Between The Scattered Light and Dust Column Density

Radiative transfer models in a spherical, turbulent interstellar medium (ISM) in which the photon source is situated at the center are calculated to investigate the correlation between the scattered light and the dust column density. The medium is modeled using fractional Brownian motion structures that are appropriate for turbulent ISM. The correlation plot between the scattered light and optical depth shows substantial scatter and deviation from simple proportionality. It was also found that the overall density contrast is smoothed out in scattered light. In other words, there is an enhancement of the dust-scattered flux in low-density regions, while the scattered flux is suppressed in high-density regions. The correlation becomes less significant as the scattering becomes closer to be isotropic and the medium becomes more turbulent. Therefore, the scattered light observed in near-infrared wavelengths would show much weaker correlation than the observations in optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. We also find that the correlation plot between scattered lights at two different wavelengths shows a tighter correlation than that of the scattered light versus the optical depth.

Cosmic Ray Sampling of a Clumpy Interstellar Medium

How cosmic rays sample the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) in starburst galaxies has important implications for many science goals, including evaluating the cosmic ray calorimeter model for these systems, predicting their neutrino fluxes, and modeling their winds. Here, we use Monte Carlo simulations to study cosmic ray sampling of a simple, two-phase ISM under conditions similar to those of the prototypical starburst galaxy M82. The assumption that cosmic rays sample the mean density of the ISM in the starburst region is assessed over a multi-dimensional parameter space where we vary the number of molecular clouds, the galactic wind speed, the extent to which the magnetic field is tangled, and the cosmic ray injection mechanism. We evaluate the ratio of the emissivity from pion production in molecular clouds to the emissivity that would be observed if the cosmic rays sampled the mean density, and seek areas of parameter space where this ratio differs significantly from unity. The assumption that cosmic rays sample the mean density holds over much of parameter space; however, this assumption begins to break down for high cloud density, injection close to the clouds, and a very tangled magnetic field. We conclude by evaluating the extent to which our simulated starburst region behaves as a proton calorimeter and constructing the time-dependent spectrum of a burst of cosmic rays.

Narrow Band X-ray Photometry as a Tool for Studying Galaxy and Cluster Mass Distributions

We explore the utility of narrow band X-ray surface photometry as a tool for making fully Bayesian, hydrostatic mass measurements of clusters of galaxies, groups and early-type galaxies. We demonstrate that it is sufficient to measure the surface photometry with the Chandra X-ray observatory in only three (rest frame) bands (0.5–0.9 keV, 0.9–2.0 keV and 2.0–7.0 keV) in order to constrain the temperature, density and abundance of the hot interstellar medium (ISM). Adopting parametrized models for the mass distribution and radial entropy profile and assuming spherical symmetry, we show that the constraints on the mass and thermodynamic properties of the ISM that are obtained by fitting data from all three bands simultaneously are comparable to those obtained by fitting similar models to the temperature and density profiles derived from spatially resolved spectroscopy, as is typically done. We demonstrate that the constraints can be significantly tightened when exploiting a recently derived, empirical relationship between the gas fraction and the entropy profile at large scales, eliminating arbitrary extrapolations at large radii. This "Scaled Adiabatic Model" (ScAM) is well suited to modest signal-to-noise data, and we show that accurate, precise measurements of the global system properties are inferred when employing it to fit data from even very shallow, snapshot X-ray observations. The well-defined asymptotic behaviour of the model also makes it ideally suited for use in Sunyaev-Zeldovich studies of galaxy clusters.

Progenitor Type Identification for Supernova Remnant N103B in the Large Magellanic Cloud by Suzaku and Chandra Observations

This paper presents a detailed analysis of supernova remnant (SNR) N103B located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), based on Suzaku and Chandra observations. The spectrum of the entire SNR was reproduced using 3 ISM components with the kT of 0.32, 0.56, and 0.92keV and one ejecta component of 3.96keV, based on spectral analysis of the Suzaku/XIS data. The ejecta was overabundant in heavy elements, such as Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni. The unprecedentedly high quality of data obtained by XIS, allowed us to correctly distinguish between the emissions from the ISM and the ejecta for the first time. Combining XIS spectral analysis with Chandra/ACIS image analysis, we verified that the ejecta distributions for elements from Si to Fe-K were similar to one another, although Fe-K emission was located slightly inward compared with that of lighter elements such as Si, S, Ar, and Ca. The onion-like structure of the ejecta was maintained after the SN. In addition, the ISM emission represented by O and Fe-L was located inside the ejecta emission. We compared hydrogen-rich ejecta plasma, which is indicative of Type II SNRs, with plasma rich in heavy elements and poor in hydrogen, which is mainly observed in Type Ia. In the case of N103B, we could not determine whether the origin of the continuum emission in the 4.0-6.0keV band was from ejecta or high-temperature ISM only based on the spectral modeling of XIS data. High-energy continuum images in the 5.2-6.0keV band obtained by ACIS were extremely similar to those of ejecta, implying that the origin of the high-energy continuum might indeed be the ejecta. By combining spectral analysis with high-energy continuum images, we found some indications for H-dominated plasma, and as a result, that the progenitor of N103B might have been a Type II. The progenitor mass was estimated to be 13 Msun based on the abundance patterns of Mg, Fe, and Ni relative to Si.

IBEX, SWCX and a Consistent Model for the Local ISM

The Local Interstellar Medium (LISM) makes its presence felt in the heliosphere in a number of ways including inflowing neutral atoms and dust and shaping of the heliosphere via its ram pressure and magnetic field. Modelers of the heliosphere need to know the ISM density and magnetic field as boundary conditions while ISM modelers would like to use the data and models of the heliosphere to constrain the nature of the LISM. An important data set on the LISM is the diffuse soft X-ray background (SXRB), which is thought to originate in hot gas that surrounds the local interstellar cloud (LIC) in which the heliosphere resides. However, in the past decade or so it has become clear that there is a significant X-ray foreground due to emission within the heliosphere generated when solar wind ions charge exchange with inflowing neutrals. The existence of this SWCX emission complicates the interpretation of the SXRB. We discuss how data from IBEX and models for the Ribbon in particular provide the possibility of tying together heliosphere models with models for the LISM, providing a consistent picture for the pressure in the LISM, the ionization in the LIC and the size and shape of the heliosphere.

Thermals in stratified regions of the ISM

We present a model of a "thermal" (i.e., a hot bubble) rising within an exponentially stratified region of the ISM. This model includes terms representing the ram pressure braking and the entrainment of environmental gas into the thermal. We then calibrate the free parameters associated with these two terms through a comparison with 3D numerical simulations of a rising bubble. Finally, we apply our "thermal" model to the case of a hot bubble produced by a SN within the stratified ISM of the Galactic disk.

Chemistry of Dark Clouds: Databases, Networks, and Models

Chemical models have been developed over the years by astrophysicists to study the pro- cesses at play in the various environments of the interstellar medium (ISM) that define the chemical composition of the gas and the dust. These qualitative aspects of the model predictions have been improved from a chemical point of view thanks to many recent developments of the experimental technics and theoretical methods that aim at studying the individual reactions in conditions as close to the ISM conditions as possible and characterize the rate constants of their efficiency. These models have also been more and more associated with dynamical evolution of the ISM physical conditions (for star forming regions for instance) since the chemical composition is far from steady-state in such regions. In this paper, we try to assess the state of the art concerning the chemical modeling of dark clouds, the initial step for the formation of stars and disks.

Cosmic ray driven outflows

We present simulations of the magnetized interstellar medium (ISM) in models of massive star forming (40 Msun / yr) disk galaxies with high gas surface densities (~100 Msun / pc^2) similar to observed star forming high-redshift disks. We assume that type II supernovae deposit 10 per cent of their energy into the ISM as cosmic rays and neglect the additional deposition of thermal energy or momentum. With a typical Galactic diffusion coefficient for CRs (3e28 cm^2 / s) we demonstrate that this process alone can trigger the local formation of a strong low density galactic wind maintaining vertically open field lines. Driven by the additional pressure gradient of the relativistic fluid the wind speed can exceed 1000 km/s, much higher than the escape velocity of the galaxy. The global mass loading, i.e. the ratio of the gas mass leaving the galactic disk in a wind to the star formation rate becomes of order unity once the system has settled into an equilibrium. We conclude that relativistic particles accelerated in supernova remnants alone provide a natural and efficient mechanism to trigger winds similar to observed mass-loaded galactic winds in high-redshift galaxies. These winds also help explaining the low efficiencies for the conversion of gas into stars in galaxies as well as the early enrichment of the intergalactic medium with metals. This mechanism can be at least of similar importance than the traditionally considered momentum feedback from massive stars and thermal and kinetic feedback from supernova explosions.

Cosmic rays can drive strong outflows from gas-rich high-redshift disk galaxies [Replacement]

We present simulations of the magnetized interstellar medium (ISM) in models of massive star forming (40 Msun / yr) disk galaxies with high gas surface densities (~100 Msun / pc^2) similar to observed star forming high-redshift disks. We assume that type II supernovae deposit 10 per cent of their energy into the ISM as cosmic rays and neglect the additional deposition of thermal energy or momentum. With a typical Galactic diffusion coefficient for CRs (3e28 cm^2 / s) we demonstrate that this process alone can trigger the local formation of a strong low density galactic wind maintaining vertically open field lines. Driven by the additional pressure gradient of the relativistic fluid the wind speed can exceed 1000 km/s, much higher than the escape velocity of the galaxy. The global mass loading, i.e. the ratio of the gas mass leaving the galactic disk in a wind to the star formation rate becomes of order unity once the system has settled into an equilibrium. We conclude that relativistic particles accelerated in supernova remnants alone provide a natural and efficient mechanism to trigger winds similar to observed mass-loaded galactic winds in high-redshift galaxies. These winds also help explaining the low efficiencies for the conversion of gas into stars in galaxies as well as the early enrichment of the intergalactic medium with metals. This mechanism can be at least of similar importance than the traditionally considered momentum feedback from massive stars and thermal and kinetic feedback from supernova explosions.

Probing Oort Cloud and local ISM properties via dust produced in cometary collisions

The Oort Cloud remains one of the most poorly explored regions of the Solar System. We propose that its properties can be constrained by detecting and studying from space a population of dust grains produced in collisions of comets in the outer Solar System. We explore the dynamics of micron-size grains outside the heliosphere (beyond ~250 AU), which are affected predominantly by the magnetic field of the interstellar medium (ISM) flow past the Sun. We derive analytic models for the production and motion of small particles as a function of their birth location in the Cloud and calculate particle flux and velocity distribution in the inner Solar System. These models are verified by direct numerical simulations. We show that grains originating in the Oort Cloud have a unique distribution of arrival directions (mainly perpendicular to both the ISM wind velocity and the ISM magnetic field), which should easily distinguish them from both interplanetary and interstellar dust populations. We also demonstrate that the distribution of particle arrival velocities is uniquely related to the spatial distribution of the dust production inside the Cloud. The latter is, in turn, determined both by the mass distribution in the Cloud and the physical properties of comets. Cometary collisions within the Oort Cloud are expected to produce a flux of micron-size grains in the inner Solar System of up to several m^{-2} yr^{-1}. The next-generation dust detectors may be sensitive enough to detect and constrain this dust population, which will illuminate us about the Oort Cloud’s properties. We also show that the recently-detected mysterious population of large (micron-size) unbound particles, which seems to arrive with the ISM flow is unlikely to be of a cometary origin.

Using synthetic emission maps to constrain the structure of the Milky Way

We present the current standing of an investigation into the structure of the Milky Way. We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) to simulate the ISM gas in the Milky Way under the effect of a number of different gravitational potentials representing the spiral arms and nuclear bars, both fixed and time-dependent. The gas is subject to ISM cooling and chemistry, enabling us to track the CO and HI density. We use a 3D grid-based radiative transfer code to simulate the emission from the SPH output, allowing for the construction of synthetic longitude-velocity maps as viewed from the Earth. By comparing these maps with the observed emission in CO and HI from the Milky Way (Dame et al. 2001, Kalberla et al. 2005), we can infer the arm/bar geometry that provides a best fit to our Galaxy. By doing so we aim to answer key questions concerning the morphology of the Milky Way such as the number of the spiral arms, the pattern speeds of the bar(s) and arms, the pitch angle of the arms and shape of the bar(s)

Using synthetic emission maps to constrain the structure of the Milky Way [Replacement]

We present the current standing of an investigation into the structure of the Milky Way. We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) to simulate the ISM gas in the Milky Way under the effect of a number of different gravitational potentials representing the spiral arms and nuclear bars, both fixed and time-dependent. The gas is subject to ISM cooling and chemistry, enabling us to track the CO and HI density. We use a 3D grid-based radiative transfer code to simulate the emission from the SPH output, allowing for the construction of synthetic longitude-velocity maps as viewed from the Earth. By comparing these maps with the observed emission in CO and HI from the Milky Way (Dame et al. 2001, Kalberla et al. 2005), we can infer the arm/bar geometry that provides a best fit to our Galaxy. By doing so we aim to answer key questions concerning the morphology of the Milky Way such as the number of the spiral arms, the pattern speeds of the bar(s) and arms, the pitch angle of the arms and shape of the bar(s)

The Smooth MgII gas distribution through the interstellar/extra-planar/halo interface

We report the first measurements of MgII absorption systems associated with spectroscopically confirmed z~0.1 star-forming galaxies at projected distances of D<6kpc. We demonstrate the data are consistent with the well known anti-correlation between rest-frame MgII equivalent width, Wr(2796), and impact parameter, D, represented by a single log-linear relation derived by Nielsen et al. (MAGIICAT) that converges to ~2A at D=0kpc. Incorporating MAGIICAT, we find that the halo gas covering fraction is unity below D~25kpc. We also report that our D<6kpc absorbers are consistent with the Wr(2796) distributions of the Milky Way interstellar medium (ISM) and ISM+halo. In addition, quasar sight-lines of intermediate redshift galaxies with 6<D<25kpc have an equivalent width distribution similar to that of the Milky Way halo, implying that beyond ~6kpc, quasar sight-lines are likely probing halo gas and not the ISM. As inferred by the Milky Way and our new data, the gas profiles of galaxies can be fit by a single log-linear Wr(2796)-D relation out to large scales across a variety of gas-phase conditions and is maintained through the halo/extra-planar/ISM interfaces, which is remarkable considering their kinematic complexity. These low redshift, small impact parameter absorption systems are the first steps to bridge the gap between quasar absorption-line studies and HI observations of the CGM.

The nature of the ISM in galaxies during the star-formation activity peak of the Universe

We combine a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, which tracks atomic and molecular phases of cold gas, with a three-dimensional radiative-transfer and line tracing code to study the sub-mm emission from several atomic and molecular species (CO, HCN, C, C+, [OI]) in galaxies. We aim to understand if the physics that drives the formation of stars at the epoch of peak star formation in the Universe is similar to or different from that in local galaxies. We find that normal star-forming galaxies at high redshift have much higher CO-excitation peaks than their local counterparts, higher HCN/CO ratios and that CO cooling predominantly takes place through molecules with higher excitation levels. We find an increase in the ratio between [OI] and [CII] in typical star-forming galaxies at z = 1.2 and z = 2.0 with respect to counterparts at z = 0. All our model results suggest that typical star-forming galaxies at high redshift consist of much denser and warmer star-forming clouds than their local counterparts and form their stars under significantly different ISM conditions. Galaxies belonging to the tail of the SF activity peak of the Universe (z = 1.2) are already less dense and cooler than counterparts during the actual peak of SF activity (z = 2.0). We use our results to discuss how future ALMA surveys can best confront our predictions and constrain models of galaxy formation.

The nature of the ISM in galaxies during the star-formation activity peak of the Universe [Replacement]

We combine a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, which tracks atomic and molecular phases of cold gas, with a three-dimensional radiative-transfer and line tracing code to study the sub-mm emission from several atomic and molecular species (CO, HCN, C, C+, [OI]) in galaxies. We aim to understand if the physics that drives the formation of stars at the epoch of peak star formation in the Universe is similar to or different from that in local galaxies. We find that normal star-forming galaxies at high redshift have much higher CO-excitation peaks than their local counterparts, higher HCN/CO ratios and that CO cooling predominantly takes place through molecules with higher excitation levels. We find an increase in the ratio between [OI] and [CII] in typical star-forming galaxies at z = 1.2 and z = 2.0 with respect to counterparts at z = 0. All our model results suggest that typical star-forming galaxies at high redshift consist of much denser and warmer star-forming clouds than their local counterparts and form their stars under significantly different ISM conditions. Galaxies belonging to the tail of the SF activity peak of the Universe (z = 1.2) are already less dense and cooler than counterparts during the actual peak of SF activity (z = 2.0). We use our results to discuss how future ALMA surveys can best confront our predictions and constrain models of galaxy formation.

Variability in Spectropolarimetric properties of Sy 1.5 galaxy Mrk 6 [Replacement]

Here we present an analysis of spectro-polarimetric observations of type 1.5 AGN Mrk 6, that was observed with 6m telescope SAO RAN in 12 epochs (2010-2013. Additionally, the ISM polarization has been observed and its contribution to the AGN spectra has been taken into account. To explore the nature of the polarization mechanism and the structure of the AGN central part we investigated the variability in the polarization properties of Mrk 6 in the continuum and broad Ha line. We measured Stokes parameters and determined the percent of polarization and polarization angle in 12 spectra with and without correction for the ISM polarization. We estimated the time lag between the unpolarized and polarized continuum flux variation of about ~2days, that indicates a compact scattering region which contributes to the variability in the polarized continuum light. The polarization in the Ha line profile is complex, showing three prominent components in the BLR, one redshifted for +3000 km/s corresponding to the red shoulder in the Ha red wing, and two blue-shifted for -2000 km/s and -6000 km/s, where the corresponds to the blue peak in the broad line profile, while the second one cannot be seen in the line profile, and may indicate an outflowing gas in the inner part of the BLR. We found that the ISM polarization has a very significant influence on the measured AGN polarization parameters. After correcting for the ISM polarization we were able to detect the Keplerian motion in the BLR (using changes in polarization angle across the Ha line profile). We give a new method for the black hole mass estimation using spectro-polarimetric observation in the line profile. Assuming that the scattering region is located in the inner part of the torus (~220 light days), the black hole mass in Mrk 6 is M_BH~1.53×10^8 M_sun, that is in a good agreement with results from reverberation mapping.

Variability in Spectropolarimetric properties of Sy 1.5 galaxy Mrk 6

Here we present an analysis of spectro-polarimetric observations of type 1.5 AGN Mrk 6. The galaxy was observed with 6m telescope SAO RAN in 12 epochs, from 2010 to 2013. Additionally, the inter-stellar mater (ISM) polarization has been observed and its contribution to the AGN spectra has been taken into account. To explore the nature of the polarization mechanism and the structure of the AGN central part we investigated the variability in the polarization properties of Mrk 6 in the continuum and in the broad H$\alpha$ line. We measured Stokes parameters and determined the percent of polarization and polarization angle in 12 spectra with and without correction for the ISM polarization. We estimated the time lag between the unpolarized and polarized continuum flux variation of about $\sim 2$ days, that indicates a compact scattering region which contributes to the variability in the polarized continuum light. The polarization in the line profile shows three components in the BLR, one that is coming from the disc, and two which indicate outflows in different parts of the BLR. We found that the ISM polarization has a very significant influence on the measured AGN polarization parameters. After correcting the observations for the ISM polarization we were able to detect the Keplerian motion in the BLR (using changes in polarization angle across the H$\alpha$ line profile). We give a new method for the black hole mass estimation using spectro-polarimetric observation in the line profile. Assuming that the scattering region is located in the inner part of the torus ($\sim 220$ light days), the black hole mass in Mrk 6 is $M_{BH}\sim 1.16\cdot 10^8M_\odot$, that is in a good agreement with estimates obtained from reverberation mapping.

Variability in Spectropolarimetric properties of Sy 1.5 galaxy Mrk 6 [Replacement]

Here we present an analysis of spectro-polarimetric observations of type 1.5 AGN Mrk 6, performed with 6m telescope SAO RAN in 12 epochs (2010 — 2013). Additionally, the inter-stellar mater (ISM) polarization has been observed and its contribution to the AGN spectral polarization is taken into account. We measured Stokes parameters and determined the polarization parameters in 12 spectra with and without correction for the ISM polarization. We estimated the time lag between the unpolarized and polarized continuum flux variation of about ~2 days, that indicates a compact scattering region which contributes to the polarized continuum variability. The polarization in H{\alpha} is complex, showing three prominent components in the BLR, one redshifted around +3000 km/s that corresponds to the red shoulder in H{\alpha}, and two blue-shifted around -2000 km/s and -6000 km/s. We found that the ISM polarization has a very significant influence on the measured AGN polarization parameters. After correcting the observations for the ISM polarization we were able to detect the Keplerian motion in the BLR. We give a new method for the black hole mass estimation using spectro-polarimetric observation in the line profile, finding the black hole mass in Mrk 6 of $M_{BH} \sim 1.53 \cdot 10^8 M_{\odot}$, that is in a good agreement with reverberation estimates.

Extreme Galaxies During Reionization: Testing ISM and Disk Models [Replacement]

We test the ability of equilibrium galactic disk and one-zone interstellar medium models to describe the physical and emission properties of quasar hosts, submillimeter galaxies, and Lyman-alpha emitters at z>~6. The size, line widths, star formation rates, black hole accretion rates, gas masses and temperatures, and the relationships between these properties are all well-described by our model, and we provide approximate fitting formulae for comparison with future observations. However, comparing our carbon line predictions to observations reveals differences between the ISM at low and high redshifts. Our underestimate of the [CII] line emission indicates either higher star formation efficiencies in high-redshift molecular clouds or less depletion of metals into dust at fixed metallicity. Further, our over-prediction of the CO(6-5)/CO(1-0) ratio suggests that molecular clouds in real high-redshift galaxies have a lower turbulent Mach number and more subthermal CO(6-5) emission than expected owing either to sizes smaller than the local Jeans mass or to a pressure support mechanism other than turbulence.

Circum-stellar medium around rotating massive stars at solar metallicity [Replacement]

Aims. Observations show nebulae around some massive stars but not around others. If observed, their chemical composition is far from homogeneous. Our goal is to put these observational features into the context of the evolution of massive stars and their circumstellar medium (CSM) and, more generally, to quantify the role of massive stars for the chemical and dynamical evolution of the ISM. Methods. Using the A-MAZE code, we perform 2d-axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulations of the evolution of the CSM, shaped by stellar winds, for a whole grid of massive stellar models from 15 to 120 Msun and following the stellar evolution from the zero-age main-sequence to the time of supernova explosion. In addition to the usual quantities, we also follow five chemical species: H, He, C, N, and O. Results. We show how various quantities evolve as a function of time: size of the bubble, position of the wind termination shock, chemical composition of the bubble, etc. The chemical composition of the bubble changes considerably compared to the initial composition, particularly during the red-supergiant (RSG) and Wolf-Rayet (WR) phases. In some extreme cases, the inner region of the bubble can be completely depleted in hydrogen and nitrogen, and is mainly composed of carbon, helium and oxygen. We argue why the bubble typically expands at a lower rate than predicted by self-similarity theory. In particular, the size of the bubble is very sensitive to the density of the ISM, decreasing by a factor of around 2.5 for each additional dex in ISM density. The bubble size also decreases with the metallicity of the central star, as low-metallicity stars have weaker winds. Our models qualitatively fit the observations of WR ejecta nebulae.

The Interstellar Medium White Paper [Replacement]

The interstellar medium is the engine room for galactic evolution. While much is known about the conditions within the ISM, many important areas regarding the formation and evolution of the various phases of the ISM leading to star formation, and its role in important astrophysical processes, remain to be explained. This paper discusses several of the fundamental science problems, placing them in context with current activities and capabilities, as well as the future capabilities that are needed to progress them in the decade ahead. Australia has a vibrant research community working on the interstellar medium. This discussion gives particular emphasis to Australian involvement in furthering their work, as part of the wider international endeavour. The particular science programs that are outlined in this White Paper include the formation of molecular clouds, the ISM of the Galactic nucleus, the origin of gamma-rays and cosmic rays, high mass star and cluster formation, the dense molecular medium, galaxy evolution and the diffuse atomic medium, supernova remnants, the role of magnetism and turbulence in the Galactic ecology and complex organic molecules in space.

Dust-to-metal ratios in damped Lyman-alpha absorbers: Fresh clues to the origins of dust and optical extinction towards gamma-ray bursts [Replacement]

Motivated by the anomalous dust-to-metal ratios derived in the literature for gamma-ray burst (GRB) damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs), we measure these ratios using the dust-depletion pattern observed in UV/optical afterglow spectra associated with the ISM at the GRB host-galaxy redshifts. Our sample consists of 20 GRB absorbers and a comparison sample of 72 QSO-DLAs with redshift 1.2 < z < 4.0 and down to Z = 0.002 Z_Sol metallicities. The dust-to-metal ratio in QSO- and GRB-DLAs increases both with metallicity and metal column density, spanning ~10–110% of the Galactic value and pointing to a non universal dust-to-metal ratio. The low values of dust-to-metal ratio suggest that low-metallicity systems have lower dust fractions than typical spiral galaxies and perhaps that the dust in these systems is produced inefficiently, i.e. by grain growth in the low-metallicity regime with negligible contribution from supernovae (SNe) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. On the other hand, some GRB- and QSO-DLAs show high dust-to-metal ratio values out to z ~ 4, requiring rapid dust production, such as in SN ejecta, but also in AGB winds and via grain growth for the highest metallicity systems. GRB-DLAs overall follow the dust-to-metal-ratio properties of QSO-DLAs, GRBs probing up to larger column and volume densities. For comparison, the dust-to-metal ratio that we derive for the SMC and LMC are ~82–100% and ~98% of the Galactic value, respectively. The literature dust-to-metal ratio of the low-metallicity galaxy I Zw 18 (< 37%) is consistent with the distribution that we find. The dust extinction Av increases steeply with the column density of iron in dust, N(Fe)dust, calculated from relative metal abundances, confirming that dust extinction is mostly occurring in the host galaxy ISM. Most GRB-DLAs display log N(Fe)dust > 14.7, above which several QSO-DLAs reveal H2 (abridged).

Direct Simulation Monte Carlo for astrophysical flows: II. Ram pressure dynamics [Replacement]

We use the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method combined with an n-body code to study the dynamics of the interaction between a gas-rich spiral galaxy and intracluster or intragroup medium, often known as the ram pressure scenario. The advantage of this gas kinetic approach over traditional hydrodynamics is explicit treatment of the interface between the hot and cold, dense and rarefied media typical of astrophysical flows and the explicit conservation of energy and momentum and the interface. This approach yields some new physical insight. Owing to the shock and backward wave that forms at the point ICM–ISM contact, ICM gas is compressed, heated and slowed. The shock morphology is Mach-disk-like. In the outer galaxy, the hot turbulent post-shock gas flows around the galaxy disk, while heating and ablating the initially cool disk gas. The outer gas and angular momentum are lost to the flow. In the inner galaxy, the hot gas pressurizes the neutral ISM gas causing a strong two-phase instability. As a result, the momentum of the wind is no longer impulsively communicated to the cold gas as assumed in the Gunn-Gott (1972) formula, but oozes through the porous disk, transferring its linear momentum to the disk en masse. The escaping gas mixture has a net positive angular momentum and forms a slowly rotating sheath. The shear flow caused by the post-shock ICM flowing through the porous multiphase ISM creates a strong Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the disk that results in Cartwheel-like ring and spoke morphology.

 

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