Fabian Scheuermann (Germany)
f.scheuermann @ uni-heidelberg.de
Observing Metallicity Enrichment Across Galaxy Disks
This project aims to quantify for the first time the physical and abundance homogeneity of the interstellar medium (ISM) and constrain the efficacy of mixing, and how it relates to galaxy evolution. To do this, we use optical Integral Field Unit (IFU) spectroscopy with MUSE on the VLT to obtain images across the disks of nearby galaxies, where each pixel in that image contains a full optical spectrum. As part of the PHANGS collaboration (https://sites.google.com/view/phangs/home), we have obtained such imaging across 20 nearby galaxies at 50pc scales, sufficient to isolate individual star forming HII regions. This allows us to sample 1000s of HII regions per galaxy, more than an order of magnitude improvement on the current state-of-the-art. This project will move beyond studying simple radial trends, and have the statistics to explore in detail trends in relation to the galactic dynamical environment (spiral arm, interarm, bar, center), with ionizing source (star cluster mass and age, WR content), and with local ISM conditions (HII region clustering, gas surface density, ISM pressure). This data set is also ideally suited for the development of new tools that will leverage the combined spectral and morphological information to more robustly identify HII regions and separate out the diffuse ionized gas, establishing a new diagnostic based HII region identification method.
Supervisor: Kathrin Kreckel (ARI)