NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0367

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0367


PI: Jessica Werk, UCO Lick Observatory, University of California, jwerk@ucolick.org
Address: Astronomy Department, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA

CoI: J. Xavier Prochaska, UCO Lick Observatory, University of California
CoI: Jason Tumlinson, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Todd Tripp, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
CoI: Christopher Thom, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Amanda Brady Ford, University of Arizona

Title: Finding the Edge of the Galactic Wind's Influence

Abstract: Brand new results from the \emphHST \emphCosmic Origins Spectrograph on the low-z IGM combined with low-resolution optical spectroscopy of galaxy absorbers indicate that there is a correlation between the total star formation rates of L* galaxies and the strength of the OVI absorption in their halos out to 150 kpc. That diffuse, highly-ionized metals surrounding L* galaxies are a sensitive function of recent star formation suggests we may be seeing the effects of feedback in action in the far reaches of a galaxy's halo. Here, we propose to examine this correlation over a broader range of parameters, for galaxies with luminosities ranging from 0.01 L* to L*, having data- rich QSO sightlines passing through their halos at impact parameters up to 300 kpc. Using a combination of GMOS-S imaging and multi-slit spectroscopy, we will determine the star formation rates and metallicities of galaxies from the recently-published LCO/WFCCD redshift survey. We will use existing UV spectral data for the 14 QSO sightlines to analyze the OVI absorption in the circumgalactic medium of the surveyed galaxies. Our goal is to measure the radius at which OVI absorption no longer correlates with galaxy SFR. This observational estimate for the extent to which galactic winds propagate will provide robust constraints on the simulations that model their effects.


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