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2016 Fall Science Colloquia

The Gaseous Halo of the Milky Way: A Close-Up View of Galactic Inflow and Outflow

Presented by: Andrew Fox (Space Telescope Science Institute )
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: October 19, 2016
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Gaseous inflows and outflows are key components of the life cycle of galaxies. Inflows bring in fuel for future star formation, while outflows take away the ashes from past star formation. In the Milky Way, we have a front-row seat to observe these flows and study their impact on galaxy evolution. They can be seen in the form of the gaseous high-velocity clouds (HVCs), visible both in 21 cm H I emission and in UV metal-line absorption. I will give an overview of recent research on HVCs using HST and radio spectroscopy. This will include examples of inflow (the Magellanic Stream and its Leading Arm), and outflow (the Galactic Center wind). These observations allow us to quantify the mass flow rates of gas circulating in the Galactic halo, and relate them to the Galactic star formation rate.