AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 67. Cosmic Gas: Long Ago and Far Away
Oral, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 606-607

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[67.02D] Observing the High Redshift Galaxy/IGM Interface

R.A. Simcoe, W.L.W. Sargent (Caltech), M. Rauch (OCIW)

It has become increasingly clear that episodes of star formation in the early universe affect the evolution of large scale structure. This stellar feedback can be both radiative and mechanical in nature, acting to change the ionization structure of the intergalactic gas, to heat and/or stir it via winds, and to seed the IGM with the chemical products of stellar nucleosynthesis.

I will describe recent efforts to locate shock-heated gas at high redshift (z ~ 2.5) through a survey for O VI absorption in the spectra of background quasars. For a subset of the O VI systems, we have identified specific emission line galaxies in the immediate neighborhood of the hot gas. The spatial coincidence of O VI and star-forming galaxies leads us to believe that these systems represent the advanced stages of galactic outflows, seen at ~100 kpc from their galaxy of origin. Through ionization modeling of the multiphase absorbing regions, we are able to probe the microphysics of galactic winds at the stage where they are mixing into their surroundings and depositing their energy and chemical content into the IGM.

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