EAS Publications Series
Volume 56, 2012The Role of the Disk-Halo Interaction in Galaxy Evolution: Outflow vs. Infall?
|Page(s)||5 - 17|
|Published online||17 September 2012|
Miguel A. de Avillez (ed)
EAS Publications Series, 56 (2012) 5–17
The Disk-Halo Connection and Where Has All The Gas Gone?
Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, USA
The wealth of data in the past decades, and especially in the past 15 years has transformed our picture of the gas around the Milky Way and other spiral galaxies. There is good evidence for extraplanar gas that is a few kpc in height and is seen in all gaseous phases: neutral; warm atomic; and hot, X-ray emitting gas. This medium is seen not only around the Milky Way, but other spiral galaxies and it is related to the star formation rate, so it is likely produced by the activity in the disk through a galactic fountain. More extended examples of halo gas are seen, such as the HVC around the Milky Way and around M 31. This gas is typically 10–20 kpc from the galaxy and is not seen beyond 50 kpc. This gas is most likely being accreted. A hot dilute halo (106 K) is present with a similar size, although its size is poorly determined.
An ongoing controversy surrounds the relative amounts of outflow from the disk and accretion onto galaxies such as the Milky Way. There is good evidence for accretion of cold material onto the Milky Way and other galaxies, but it is not clear if there is enough to modify the gas content and star formation properties in the disk. The reservoir of accretion material is as yet unidentified. Some of these findings may be related to the issue that galaxies are baryon-poor: their baryon to dark matter ratio is well below the cosmological value. The absence of baryons may be due to extremely violent outflow events in the early stages of galaxy formation. We may be able to understand this stage of galaxy evolution by applying our deepening understanding of our local disk-halo environment.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2012