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Astronomy Colloquium: Adam Leroy

Date: Wed. February 17th, 2016, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Star Formation-Driven Molecular Superwinds as Understood From the Two Nearest Starburst Galaxies (and a Small Survey)

Dr. Adam Leroy, Ohio State University

I will use the two nearest starburst galaxies: M82 and NGC 253 as examples to discuss the origin and fate of galaxy-scale molecular outflows driven by star formation. Outflows of interstellar gas driven by stellar feedback should be a key element in the interaction between galaxy disks and the huge reservoirs of gas and dust in the circumgalactic medium. They should carry metals and dust out of galaxy disks and may deplete future fuel for star formation. The most mysterious but potentially most massive (at least near the disk) component of these outflows are molecular winds. I will present results from three recent studies of nearby starburst galaxies. In NGC 253, I will show ALMA’s view of the base of a molecular superwind. In M82, I will show how we track the fate of molecular and atomic gas after it is launched by comparing it to spatially resolved atomic gas, dust, and measurements of gas kinematics. I will also mention efforts to understand whether star formation can drive the truly monstrous molecular outflows seen in the local ULIRG population.

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