Painting a more realistic picture of the circumgalactic medium via simulations of isolated galaxies

Devin Silvia (Michigan State University) - March 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Observational efforts to understand the complex nature of the circumgalactic medium (CGM), have highlighted the important role this gas plays in regulating galactic star formation. Until recently, the mass and extent of the CGM were poorly constrained, owing to the difficulties associated with observing this diffuse gas. However, it is now known that the CGM may comprise over half of all the normal matter contained in a galactic halo. This large reservoir of gas can act to both facilitate and stifle continued star formation in galaxies. In an effort to better understand the nature of the CGM and help inform current and future observations, I will present hydrodynamic simulations of isolated galaxies at varied resolutions. Ultimately, these simulations aim to resolve large volumes at physical scales rarely reached by cosmological simulations of large-scale structure. I will discuss my efforts to visualize the complex three-dimensional structure of the CGM, study its thermodynamic evolution as a function of time, and create mock observations that can be directly compared to real ones. These efforts should serve to paint a more accurate picture of the connection between galactic star formation and the circumgalactic medium.

The seminar will be held in 131A Campbell Hall.

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