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Global Hot Gas in and around the Galaxy

QD Wang, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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This is the pre-published version harvested from ArXiv. The published version is located at http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=APCPCS001156000001000257000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes&ref=no

Abstract

The hot interstellar medium traces the stellar feedback and its role in regulating the eco-system of the Galaxy. I review recent progress in understanding the medium, based largely on X-ray absorption line spectroscopy, complemented by X-ray emission and far-UV O VI absorption measurements. These observations enable us for the first time to characterize the global spatial, thermal, chemical, and kinematic properties of the medium. The results are generally consistent with what have been inferred from X-ray imaging of nearby galaxies similar to the Galaxy. It is clear that diffuse soft X-ray emitting/absorbing gas with a characteristic temperature of ~106 K resides primarily in and around the Galactic disk and bulge. In the solar neighborhood, for example, this gas has a characteristic vertical scale height of ~1 kpc. This conclusion does not exclude the presence of a larger-scale, probably much hotter, and lower density circum-Galactic hot medium, which is required to explain observations of various high-velocity clouds. This hot medium may be a natural product of the stellar feedback in the context of the galaxy formation and evolution. ©2009 American Institute of Physics

Suggested Citation

QD Wang. "Global Hot Gas in and around the Galaxy" AIP Conference Proceedings 1156.1 (2009): 257-267.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel_wang/19