NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0215

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0215


PI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland, veilleux@astro.umd.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, College Park, MD 20742, USA

CoI: David S. Rupke, University of Maryland

Title: High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Galactic Winds in Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

Abstract: We are conducting a survey of large-scale galactic outflows in starburst-dominated ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIGs) using moderate-resolution ((Delta) v ~ 65-100 km s^-1) absorption-line spectroscopy. This survey has been very successful, revealing outflows in almost 25 ULIGs and suggesting a correlation between mass outflow rate and star formation rate. However, there are uncertainties in our mass outflow rate measurements due to our inability to detect narrow saturated components that may be present. To resolve these structures and better understand the detailed physical nature of outflows in these galaxies, we propose high-resolution ((Delta) v ~ 13 km s^-1) observations using HIRES on Keck I of 3-4 ULIGs with confirmed outflows. Given the desired resolution, target redshifts, and signal-to- noise necessary for profile fitting, an 8-10m class telescope is absolutely necessary. The resolution of this setup is comparable to the thermal linewidth! of warm gas in the interstellar medium (~ 10 km s^-1). By resolving kinematic substructure down to the thermal limit, higher resolution will allow us to compare our results with detailed wind models. Most importantly, it will provide a check on our column density estimates and thus on our mass outflow rate measurements, which are key in parameterizing the effect of these galaxies on the IGM.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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