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Dust and Molecular Gas in the Winds of Nearby Galaxies

dc.contributor.advisorVeilleux, Sylvainen_US
dc.contributor.authorMcCormick, Alexanderen_US
dc.description.abstractGalactic winds provide a fundamental mechanism for galaxy evolution. The outflow of material in winds remains the most likely culprit responsible for a host of galaxy observations, plus mounting evidence for galactic winds at times in the past points to their importance in understanding the history of the universe. Therefore, detailed observations of galactic winds are critical to fleshing out the narrative of galaxy evolution. In particular, the dust and molecular gas of a galaxy's interstellar medium (ISM) play crucial roles in the absorption, scattering, and reemission of starlight, the heating of the ISM, and provide critical materials for star formation. We present results from archival {\em Spitzer Space Telescope} data and exceptionally deep {\em Herschel Space Observatory} data of the dust and molecular gas found in and around 20 nearby galaxies known to host galactic-scale winds. Selecting nearby galaxies has allowed us the resolution and sensitivity to differentiate dust and molecular gas outside the galaxies and observe their typically faint emission. These are the most detailed surveys currently available of the faint dust and molecular gas components in galactic winds, and we have utilized them to address the following questions: i) What are the location and morphology of dust and molecular gas, and how do these components compare with better known neutral and ionized gas features? ii) How much do dust and molecular gas contribute to the mass and energy of galactic winds? iii) Do the properties of the dust and molecular gas correlate with the properties of the wind-hosting galaxy? {\em Spitzer} archival data has revealed kiloparsec-scale polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) structures in the extraplanar regions of nearly all the wind-hosting galaxies we investigated. We found a nearly linear correlation between the extraplanar PAH emission and the total infrared flux, a proxy for star formation. Our results also suggest a correlation between the height of extraplanar PAH emission and star formation rate surface density, supporting the idea of a surface density threshold on the energy or momentum injection rate for producing detectable extraplanar wind material. New, very deep {\em Herschel} data of six nearby dwarf galaxies with known winds show circumgalactic cold dust features on galactic scales, often well beyond the stellar component. Comparisons of these features with ancillary data show an imperfect spatial correlation with the ionized gas and warm dust wind components. We found $\sim$10-20\% of the total dust mass in these known wind galaxies resides outside their stellar disks, and $\sim$70\% in one case. Our data also hint at metallicity depletion via cold dust ejection and possible correlations of dust and other host galaxy properties, though these tantalizing implications are not statistically significant given the small number of objects in the sample and the uncertainties in the measurements.en_US
dc.titleDust and Molecular Gas in the Winds of Nearby Galaxiesen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledactive galactic nucleien_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledinterstellar mediumen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledmolecular gasen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledstar formationen_US

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