AR 17559 (Archival Research)

Sun Jul 14 05:16:28 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: Alaina Henry
PI Institution: Space Telescope Science Institute
Investigators (xml)

Title: Galactic Winds Unveiled: Leveraging Cloud Simulations with Radiative Transfer to Constrain Feedback
Cycle: 31

Galactic winds, driven by intense star formation and supernova explosions, are crucial for regulating galaxy growth and evolution. However, the physics that governs these outflows remains uncertain, with open questions about whether they are primarily ejective, removing large amounts of mass, or preventive, heating circumgalactic gas to suppress further accretion. We propose a new method for constraining wind models using simulated galaxy spectra. We will model individual cool clouds as they interact with a hot wind, using high-resolution simulations that we will post-process with radiative transfer to build a library of mock absorption-line spectra. We will then combine these cloud spectra into galactic-scale outflows based on a flexible, physically consistent model. With this approach, we can explore how changes to physical parameters like the wind energy and mass loading, cloud sizes, and wind geometry impact the resulting spectrum. We will compare our mock spectra to observations of local star-forming galaxies obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. By forward-modeling galactic winds and directly fitting their spectra, we aim to provide the most robust constraints to date on the physics of these multiphase outflows and their role in shaping galaxy evolution. Our method constitutes a new approach for understanding astrophysical phenomena through synthesis of theory and observation.