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  1. Abstract

    We use medium-resolution Keck/Echellette Spectrograph and Imager spectroscopy of bright quasars to study cool gas traced by Caiiλλ3934, 3969 and Naiλλ5891, 5897 absorption in the interstellar/circumgalactic media of 21 foreground star-forming galaxies at redshifts 0.03 <z< 0.20 with stellar masses 7.4 ≤ logM*/M≤ 10.6. The quasar–galaxy pairs were drawn from a unique sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar spectra with intervening nebular emission, and thus have exceptionally close impact parameters (R< 13 kpc). The strength of this line emission implies that the galaxies’ star formation rates (SFRs) span a broad range, with several lying well above the star-forming sequence. We use Voigt profile modeling to derive column densities and component velocities for each absorber, finding that column densitiesN(Caii) > 1012.5cm−2(N(Nai) > 1012.0cm−2) occur with an incidencefC(Caii) = 0.63+0.10−0.11(fC(Nai) = 0.57+0.10−0.11). We find no evidence for a dependence offCor the rest-frame equivalent widthsWr(CaiiK) orWr(Nai5891) onRorM*. Instead,Wr(CaiiK) is correlated with local SFR at >3σsignificance, suggesting that Caiitraces star formation-driven outflows. While most of the absorbers have velocities within ±50 km s−1of the host redshift, their velocity widths (characterized by Δv90) are universally 30–177 km s−1larger than that implied by tilted-ring modeling of the velocities of interstellar material. These kinematics mustmore »trace galactic fountain flows and demonstrate that they persist atR> 5 kpc. Finally, we assess the relationship between dust reddening andWr(CaiiK) (Wr(Nai5891)), finding that 33% (24%) of the absorbers are inconsistent with the best-fit Milky WayE(B−V)-Wrrelations at >3σsignificance.

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  2. Abstract

    We use hydrodynamical simulations of two Milky Way–mass galaxies to demonstrate the impact of cosmic-ray pressure on the kinematics of cool and warm circumgalactic gas. Consistent with previous studies, we find that cosmic-ray pressure can dominate over thermal pressure in the inner 50 kpc of the circumgalactic medium (CGM), creating an overall cooler CGM than that of similar galaxy simulations run without cosmic rays. We generate synthetic sight lines of the simulated galaxies’ CGM and use Voigt profile-fitting methods to extract ion column densities, Doppler-bparameters, and velocity centroids of individual absorbers. We directly compare these synthetic spectral line fits with HST/COS CGM absorption-line data analyses, which tend to show that metallic species with a wide range of ionization potential energies are often kinematically aligned. Compared to the Milky Way simulation run without cosmic rays, the presence of cosmic-ray pressure in the inner CGM creates narrower Oviabsorption features and broader Siiiiabsorption features, a quality that is more consistent with observational data. Additionally, because the cool gas is buoyant due to nonthermal cosmic-ray pressure support, the velocity centroids of both cool and warm gas tend to align in the simulated Milky Way with feedback from cosmic rays. Our study demonstrates thatmore »detailed, direct comparisons between simulations and observations, focused on gas kinematics, have the potential to reveal the dominant physical mechanisms that shape the CGM.

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  3. We use hydrodynamical simulations of two Milky Way-mass galaxies to demonstrate the impact of cosmic-ray pressure on the kinematics of cool and warm circumgalactic gas. Consistent with previous studies, we find that cosmic-ray pressure can dominate over thermal pressure in the inner 50 kpc of the circumgalactic medium (CGM), creating an overall cooler CGM than that of similar galaxy simulations run without cosmic rays. We generate synthetic sightlines of the simulated galaxies' CGM and use Voigt profile fitting methods to extract ion column densities, Doppler-b parameters, and velocity centroids of individual absorbers. We directly compare these synthetic spectral line fits with HST/COS CGM absorption-line data analyses, which tend to show that metallic species with a wide range of ionization potential energies are often kinematically aligned. Compared to the Milky-Way simulation run without cosmic rays, the presence of cosmic-ray pressure in the inner CGM creates narrower OVI absorption features and broader SiIII absorption features, a quality which is more consistent with observational data. Additionally, because the cool gas is buoyant due to nonthermal cosmic-ray pressure support, the velocity centroids of both cool and warm gas tend to align in the simulated Milky Way with feedback from cosmic rays. Our study demonstratesmore »that detailed, direct comparisons between simulations and observations, focused on gas kinematics, have the potential to reveal the dominant physical mechanisms that shape the CGM.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    We combine 126 new galaxy-Oviabsorber pairs from the CGM2survey with 123 pairs drawn from the literature to examine the simultaneous dependence of the column density of Oviabsorbers (NOVI) on galaxy stellar mass, star-formation rate, and impact parameter. The combined sample consists of 249 galaxy-Oviabsorber pairs coveringz= 0–0.6, with host galaxy stellar massesM*= 107.8–1011.2Mand galaxy-absorber impact parametersR= 0–400 proper kiloparsecs. In this work, we focus on the variation ofNOVIwith galaxy mass and impact parameter among the star-forming galaxies in the sample. We find that the averageNOVIwithin one virial radius of a star-forming galaxy is greatest for star-forming galaxies withM*= 109.2–1010M. Star-forming galaxies withM*between 108and 1011.2Mcan explain most Ovisystems with column densities greater than 1013.5cm−2. Sixty percent of the Ovimass associated with a star-forming galaxy is found within one virial radius, and 35% is found between one and two virial radii. In general, we find that some departure from hydrostatic equilibrium in the CGM is necessary to reproduce the observed Oviamount, galaxy mass dependence, and extent. Our measurements serve as a test set for CGM models over a broad range of host galaxy masses.

  5. Abstract We present spatially resolved spectroscopy from the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) of a star-forming galaxy at z = 0.6942, which shows emission from the Mg ii λ λ 2796, 2803 doublet in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) extending ∼37 kpc at 3 σ significance in individual spaxels (1 σ detection limit 4.8 × 10 −19 erg s −1 cm −2 arcsec −2 ). The target galaxy, selected from a near-UV spectroscopic survey of Mg ii line profiles at 0.3 < z < 1.4, has a stellar mass log ( M * / M ⊙ ) = 9.9, a star formation rate of 50 M ⊙ yr −1 , and a morphology indicative of a merger. After deconvolution with the seeing, we obtain 5 σ detections of Mg ii line emission extending for ∼31 kpc measured in 7-spaxel (1.1 arcsec 2 ) apertures. Spaxels covering the galaxy stellar regions show clear P Cygni−like emission/absorption profiles, with the blueshifted absorption extending to relative velocities of v = −800 km s −1 ; however, the P Cygni profiles give way to pure emission at large radii from the central galaxy. We have performed 3D radiative transfer modeling to infer the geometry andmore »velocity and density profiles of the outflowing gas. Our observations are most consistent with an isotropic outflow rather than biconical wind models with half-opening angles ϕ ≤ 80°. Furthermore, our modeling suggests that a wind velocity profile that decreases with radius is necessary to reproduce the velocity widths and strengths of Mg ii line emission profiles at large circumgalactic radii. The extent of the Mg ii emission we measure directly is further corroborated by our modeling, where we rule out outflow models with extent <30 kpc.« less
  6. ABSTRACT Quasar absorption systems encode a wealth of information about the abundances, ionization structure, and physical conditions in intergalactic and circumgalactic media. Simple (often single-phase) photoionization models are frequently used to decode such data. Using five discrete absorbers from the COS Absorption Survey of Baryon Harbors (CASBaH) that exhibit a wide range of detected ions (e.g. Mg ii, S ii – S vi, O ii – O vi, Ne viii), we show several examples where single-phase ionization models cannot reproduce the full set of measured column densities. To explore models that can self-consistently explain the measurements and kinematic alignment of disparate ions, we develop a Bayesian multiphase ionization modelling framework that characterizes discrete phases by their unique physical conditions and also investigates variations in the shape of the UV flux field, metallicity, and relative abundances. Our models require at least two (but favour three) distinct ionization phases ranging from T ≈ 104 K photoionized gas to warm-hot phases at T ≲ 105.8 K. For some ions, an apparently single absorption ‘component' includes contributions from more than one phase, and up to 30 per cent of the H i is not from the lowest ionization phase. If we assume that all of the phases are photoionized, we cannot find solutionsmore »in thermal pressure equilibrium. By introducing hotter, collisionally ionized phases, however, we can achieve balanced pressures. The best models indicate moderate metallicities, often with subsolar N/α, and, in two cases, ionizing flux fields that are softer and brighter than the fiducial Haardt & Madau UV background model.« less
  7. As part of our Survey of the Circumgalactic Regions of the ALFALFA Galaxies (CRAG), we report on the analysis of QSO sightlines that pass within ~100 kpc of ALFALFA galaxies that show no discernable evidence of a circumgalactic medium (CGM) as probed by the presence of Lyα absorption. Many of these corresponding galaxies reside in group or cluster environments, in agreement with recent studies that indicate the nearby galaxy environment plays a significant role in determining the physical conditions of the CGM. However, we also identify a sample of isolated ALFALFA galaxies that show no evidence of HI within ~100 kpc - suggesting the physical distribution of the CGM around these galaxies is patchy and non-uniform, even within relatively small volumes around the galaxies. We explore photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in an attempt to characterize the properties these galaxies and the environments in which they reside. This work has been supported by NSF grant AST-1716569.
  8. As part of our Survey of the Circumgalactic Regions of the ALFALFA Galaxies (CRAG), we report on the identification and analysis of strong HI absorption in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of the ALFALFA galaxies as identified in archival HST/COS G130M QSO spectroscopic observations. We characterize the HI and metal content of these strong absorbers and explore the physical distribution of the CGM for these galaxies. Using photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we analyze the environments of these galaxies. We also summarize the gas-galaxy connection for this sample of strong HI absorbers and HI-rich galaxies. This work has been supported by NSF grant AST-1716569.