Tracing Galactic Outflows to the Source: Spatially Resolved Feedback in M83 with COS

Project: Research project

Project Details


Star-formation (SF) feedback plays a vital role in shaping galaxy properties, but there are many open questions about how this feedback is created, propagated, and felt by galaxies. SF-driven feedback can be observationally constrained with rest-frame UV absorption-line spectroscopy that accesses a range of powerful gas density and kinematic diagnostics. Studies at both high and low redshift show clear evidence for large-scale outflows in star-forming galaxies that scale with galaxy SF rate. However, by sampling one sightline or the galaxy as a whole, these studies are not tailored to reveal how the large-scale outflows develop from their ultimate sources at the scale of individual SF regions. We propose the first spatially-resolved COS G130M/G160M (1130-1800 A) study of the ISM in the nearby (4.6 Mpc) face-on spiral starburst M83 using individual young star clusters as background sources. This is the first "down-the-barrel" study where blueshifted absorptions can be identified directly with outflowing gas in a spatially resolved fashion. The kpc-scale flows sampled by the COS pointings will be anchored to the properties of the large-scale (10-100 kpc) flows thanks to the wealth of multiwavelength observations of M83 from X-ray to radio. A comparison of COS data with mock spectra from constrained simulations of spiral galaxies with FIRE (Feedback In Realistic Environments; a code with unprecedented 1-100 pc spatial resolution and self-consistent treatments of stellar feedback) will provide an important validation of these simulations and will supply the community with a powerful and well-tested tool for galaxy formation predictions applicable to all redshifts.
Effective start/end date5/1/174/30/20


  • Space Telescope Science Institute (HST-GO-14681.011-A//NAS5-26555)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (HST-GO-14681.011-A//NAS5-26555)


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