Lighting up the gas reservoir outside galaxies
Prof. Moire Prescott
Department of Astronomy
New Mexico State University
The diffuse gas reservoir outside of galaxies holds important clues to the galaxy formation process. Circumgalactic gas fuels the formation of new generations of stars within individual galaxies and the growth of active galactic nuclei (AGN), while at the same time feeling the effects star formation and AGN feedback, as enriched material is expelled back out of galaxies and into the surrounding environment. Lyman-alpha nebulae — giant emission-line nebulae found at the nodes of this web of cosmic gas — allow us to study the circumgalactic medium in emission. They can provide insight into the early stages of galaxy group and cluster formation at high redshifts and also constrain the ionizing output of embedded AGN over 10,000-100,000 year timescales. This talk will discuss some of the progress we have made characterizing the environments and powering mechanisms at work in giant Lyman-alpha nebulae, and highlight what we are learning from mapping out the physical conditions and kinematics within individual regions and across cosmic time.
Hosted by Prof. Howk