Connecting the Smoke to the Fire: Mapping Andromeda's Inner Circumgalactic Medium

Project: Research project

Project Details


The theory team for this HST program consists of simulation leaders at STScI and at Northwestern. The two institutions will contribute complementary expertise that will maximize the scientific impact of the observations by including insights from the latest theoretical developments on modelling the CGM. The STScI node will contribute results from the FOGGIE simulations, which are especially well suited to model the galaxy-halo interface thanks to their high resolution in diffuse CGM gas. The Northwestern node will contribute insights based on the FIRE zoom-in simulations, which have the complementary strength of including a detailed model for multi-channel stellar feedback, including supernovae, stellar winds, and radiative feedback. The Northwestern node will also contribute interpretation based on a series of recent and on-going theoretical studies of how the properties of the inner CGM drives key transitions in galaxy evolution, including the settling of galactic disks, the regulation of star formation rates, galactic winds and fountains. The new HST observations focusing on M31’s inner CGM will directly test these recent theoretical predictions. The postdoctoral researcher who will lead the program’s main theory paper will be based at STScI. Because of this, the Northwestern budget will only provide 2 weeks of summer salary for CoI Faucher-Giguère (faculty leader of the galaxy formation theory group at Northwestern) to participate in the project. CoI Faucher-Giguère will co-advise the funded STScI postdoctoral researcher on the work related to this program. CoI Faucher-Giguère will also provide results from the FIRE simulations and will participate in the scientific interpretation and writing of the main theory paper.
Effective start/end date2/1/221/31/25


  • Space Telescope Science Institute (HST-GO-16730.016-A//NAS5- 26555)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (HST-GO-16730.016-A//NAS5- 26555)


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