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The Hidden Baryons of the Milky Way

Physics/Astro Auditorium

Yong Zheng (UC Berkeley)

May 2 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Galaxies are not lonely islands floating in the Universe. They host large gaseous envelopes of baryons, a.k.a., the circum-galactic medium (CGM), that exist far beyond a galaxy’s visible extent. Baryonic inflows from CGM replenish star-forming fuel in galaxies, whereas outflows from galaxies enrich the CGM. In this talk, I will describe the theoretical and observed distribution and flows of baryons in the MW’s CGM, including how the MW’s disk hides up to half of its CGM from direct observation. I will then describe new techniques to generate synthetic observations of the CGM using the Enzo & FOGGIE cosmological simulations, and show how these can be used to reveal the hidden baryons in the MW’s CGM. Finally, I will briefly highlight the connections between low- and high-redshift CGM studies, including new applications that rely on fast radio bursts (FRBs).