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Physics Colloquium: Jessica Werk
April 18 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: The Milky Way’s Dynamic Atmosphere
Abstract: The Galactic atmosphere is as essential to setting the global conditions in the Milky Way as our planet’s atmosphere is for sustaining life on Earth. Dramatic, multiphase gas flows course through the disk-halo interface and into the more extended circumgalactic medium (CGM), redistributing the materials generated over billions of years of star formation. In this talk, I will review observational data taken over the last decade from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck telescope, and the Gemini telescopes that uniquely constrain the content of the CGM and the nature of these flows around present-day galaxies. Then, I will show new HST data indicating that the Milky Way itself is an outlier among galaxies of similar mass at low redshift. Finally, I will describe an ongoing experiment with HST (and show new spectra from March 2022!) in which we use a newly-discovered sample of UV-bright, low-Galactic-latitude QSOs to address this Milky Way anomaly.
Host: Rongmon Bordoloi