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Session 70 - The Milky Way.
Display session, Wednesday, January 15
The physical conditions in the interstellar medium (ISM) of the Milky Way's disk and the hot diffuse gas in its halo are significantly different. Yet dynamical features in the ISM, such as arcs, shells, and discrete vertical structures observed for example in neutral hydrogen, indicate that both mass and energy are exchanged between the disk and halo. Fundamental questions about the formation of galaxy halos, and how they are sustained, are tied to the question of what produces these vertical structures. Sensitive studies of edge-on galaxies are now beginning to show similar evidence for disk-halo interactions. However studies of our own galaxy are particularly important since the mechanisms which create and sustain its halo can be examined in-depth. The principal goal of the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS) is the creation and analysis of a data base of panoramic, high resolution images centred on the mid-plane of the Milky Way. It exploits the Synthesis Telescope at Dominion Radio Astronomical Observatory (DRAO) of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. An example of a Galactic ``chimney'' was discovered during the DRAO Pilot Project, and we propose to use visualization techniques on the GPS H I spectral-line mosaics in order to recognize similar objects. Along with some visualization tests, we plan to present our preliminary analysis. This will consist of producing spectral index maps formed from the DRAO radio continuum observations at 1420 MHz and 408 MHz. The vertical gradient in these maps provides an important discriminant between ``diffusion'' and winds as modes for transporting cosmic rays into the galactic halo.
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