Galactic Winds and the Role Played by Massive Stars

  • Timothy M. Heckman
  • Todd A. Thompson
Reference work entry


Galactic winds from star-forming galaxies play at key role in the evolution of galaxies and the intergalactic medium. They transport metals out of galaxies, chemically enriching the intergalactic medium and modifying the chemical evolution of galaxies. They affect the surrounding interstellar and circumgalactic media, thereby influencing the growth of galaxies though gas accretion and star formation. In this contribution we first summarize the physical mechanisms by which the momentum and energy output from a population of massive stars and associated supernovae can drive galactic winds. We use the prototypical example of M 82 to illustrate the multiphase nature of galactic winds. We then describe how the basic properties of galactic winds are derived from the data, and summarize how the properties of galactic winds vary systematically with the properties of the galaxies that launch them. We conclude with a brief discussion of the broad implications of galactic winds.



TMH acknowledges support from NASA Grant NNX 15AE52G and HST GO 12603. TMH thanks Rachel Alexandroff, Lee Armus, Pedro Beirao, Sanch Borthakur, John Grimes, Charles Hoopes, Kip Kuntz, Matt Lehnert, Amanda Marlowe, David Strickland, Anatoly Suchkov, and Christy Tremonti for their collaboration in the investigation of galactic winds as described in this review. TAT is supported by NSF Grant #1516967. TAT thanks Eliot Quataert, Norm Murray, Ondrej Pejcha, Brian Lacki, and Dong Zhang for discussions and collaboration on galactic winds and related topics. TMH and TAT thank the Simons Foundation and organizers Juna Kollmeier and Andrew Benson for hosting the symposium Galactic Winds: Beyond Phenomenology, were part of this work was completed.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Astrophysical SciencesThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Astronomy and Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle PhysicsThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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