COS-Burst: observations of the impact of starburst-driven winds on the properties of the circum-galactic medium
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We report on observations made with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) using background QSOs to probe the circum-galactic medium (CGM) around 17 low-redshift galaxies thatare undergoing or have recently undergone a strong starburst (the COS-Burst program). The sight lines extend out to roughly the virial radius of the galaxy halo. We construct control samples of normal star-forming low-redshift galaxies from the COS/HST archive that match the starbursts in terms of galaxy stellar mass and impact parameter. We find clear evidence that the CGM around the starbursts differs systematically compared to the control galaxies. The Lyα, Si III,C IV, and possibly O VI absorption-lines are stronger as a function of impact parameter, and the ratios of the equivalent widths of CIV/Lyα and Si III/Lyα are both larger than in normal star-forming galaxies. We also find that the widths and the velocity offsets (relative to vsys) of the Lyα absorption-lines are significantly larger in the CGM of the starbursts, implying velocities of the absorbing material that are roughly twice the halo virial velocity. We show that these properties can be understood as a consequence of the interaction between a starburst-driven wind and the pre-existing CGM. These results underscore the importance of winds driven from intensely star-forming galaxies in helping drive the evolution of galaxies and the intergalactic medium. They also offer anew probe of the properties of starburst-driven winds and of the CGM itself.
Heckman , T , Borthakur , S , Wild , V , Schiminovich , D & Bordoloi , R 2017 , ' COS-Burst: observations of the impact of starburst-driven winds on the properties of the circum-galactic medium ' Astrophysical Journal .
© 2017, American Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at iopscience.iop.org /
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