FM18p.12 — Turbulence and the ionization of interstellar gas

Date & Time

Aug 10th at 6:00 PM until 6:00 PM




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Author(s): Alex S Hill1

Institution(s): 1. Haverford College

Turbulence is widely observed in the ionized gas in the interstellar media of star-forming galaxies. Observations in the Milky Way indicate emission from that the warm ionized medium -- ionized gas far from massive stars, the most likely source of the ionization -- has a lognormal intensity distribution. This and other measurements indicate that the gas is well-described as a transonic turbulent fluid. Such a fluid can be produced by feedback from supernovae in the Galaxy. Understanding of this turbulence has also led to a natural explanation for a long-standing puzzle: how do ionizing photons travel through the largely-neutral interstellar medium and produce the ionization? In the turbulent gas, low-density pathways allow ionizing photons to propagate for kiloparsecs, with implications for radiative energy transport in star-forming galaxies.