Unbiased studies of galactic outflows

Dr. Daniel Nestor

Abstract

Large-scale outflows from galaxies are a crucially important yet poorly understood aspect of galaxy evolution. They redistribute gas and metals into the IGM, regulate star formation, affect the galaxy luminosity function and mass-metallicity relation, etc. Unfortunately, their detailed context in galaxy evolution is difficult to understand: locally, they are identified and studied in heterogeneous manners, while we have only recently begun to study them on cosmological scales and then only in known bright, starbursting galaxies. I will discuss increasing evidence that the so-called ultra-strong MgII intervening quasar absorbers select galactic superwinds over a large range of redshift in a manner independent of luminosity. As superwinds cover a small fraction of the sky at any epoch, only with recent huge quasar absorption lines surveys has it been possible to identify significant numbers of outflows in this manner. I will present new results from several of our studies -- including the measurement of the average SFR of their hosts using [O II] emission from SDSS composite spectra, WIYN, Gemini and WHT imaging of the superwind environments, Gemini/GMOS spectroscopy of superwind host galaxies, and VLT/UVES echellegrams of the absorption lines -- with the aim of understanding the nature of the outflows, their host galaxies, environments, and their evolution over cosmic time.

About the talk

Unbiased studies of galactic outflows
Dr. Daniel Nestor
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
Wednesday April 22, 2009
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