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Thermal Pressure in the Cold Neutral Medium of Nearby Galaxies

Author(s): Herrera-Camus, Rodrigo; Bolatto, A; Wolfire, M; Ostriker, Eve C.; Draine, Bruce T.; et al

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Abstract: Dynamic and thermal processes regulate the structure of the multiphase interstellar medium (ISM), and ultimately establish how galaxies evolve through star formation. Thus, to constrain ISM models and better understand the interplay of these processes, it is of great interest to measure the thermal pressure (P-th) of the diffuse, neutral gas. By combining [C II]. 158 mu m, H I, and CO data from 31 galaxies selected from the Herschel KINGFISH sample, we have measured thermal pressures in 534 predominantly atomic regions with typical sizes of similar to 1. kiloparsec. We find a distribution of thermal pressures in theP(th)/k similar to 10(3)-10(5) K cm(-3) range. For a sub-sample of regions with conditions similar to those of the diffuse, neutral gas in the Galactic plane, we find thermal pressures that follow a log-normal distribution with a median value of P-th/k approximate to 3600 K cm(-3). These results are consistent with thermal pressure measurements using other observational methods. We find that Pth increases with radiation field strength and star formation activity, as expected from the close link between the heating of the gas and the star formation rate. Our thermal pressure measurements fall in the regime where a two-phase ISM with cold and warm neutral media. could exist in pressure equilibrium. Finally, we find that the midplane thermal pressure of the diffuse gas is about similar to 30% of the vertical weight of the overlying ISM, consistent with results from hydrodynamical simulations of self-regulated star formation in galactic disks.
Publication Date: 1-Feb-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 31-Jan-2017
Citation: Herrera-Camus, R, Bolatto, A, Wolfire, M, Ostriker, E, Draine, B, Leroy, A, Sandstrom, K, Hunt, L, Kennicutt, R, Calzetti, D, Smith, JD, Croxall, K, Galametz, M, de Looze, I, Dale, D, Crocker, A, Groves, B. (2017). Thermal Pressure in the Cold Neutral Medium of Nearby Galaxies. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 835 (10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/201
DOI: doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/201
ISSN: 0004-637X
EISSN: 1538-4357
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.
Notes: Supplementary data may be available at , and

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