Natascha Sattler (Germany)
n.sattler @ stud.uni-heidelberg.de
Mapping electron temperature variations in nearby star-forming regions with SDSS-V/LVM
In regions of strong star formation, the gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) is ionized. Because the gas consists mostly of hydrogen (H), this ionization of molecular hydrogen atoms builds an H II region. However, H II regions also contain heavier elements and provide all the initial abundances for star formation. Knowing these abundances is important to probe chemical galaxy evolution models. Since metals act as coolants in the gas, we can obtain the abundances by measuring the electron temperature through emission lines.
The electron temperature is, however, not homogeneous across the H II region and temperature variations can lead to an underestimation of the abundances. These variations may come from density inhomogeneities, winds, shocks, or the distribution of multiple ionizing sources.
In my work, we will spatially map the electron temperatures in nearby star-forming regions. To do this, we use the Local Volume Mapper (LVM), since it provides a homogeneous sampling of the ISM across the local galactic environment with high-quality spectra. Because this integral-field unit can resolve star formation structures, molecular clouds and single H II regions, we will be able to unveil possible structures in star-forming regions and improve the understanding of their abundances as well as the chemical galaxy evolution.
Supervisor: Kathryn Kreckel (ARI)