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Gas around Galaxies and Cluster: The Case for the Virgo Cluster

Yoon, Joo Heon

The presence of warm (T<10<super>5</super> K) and cold (T<10<super>4</super> K) gas and the dependence of its properties on environment are investigated in this thesis. Gas is a fundamental source of fuel for stars and galaxies and therefore it is an important tool for understanding galaxy evolution. We completed the first systematic survey of QSO absorption line observations in a galaxy cluster. In addition to these absorption line data, atomic hydrogen data of spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster are used to study (1) the distribution and flows of Ly&alpha absorbers, i.e., warm gas, in and around a galaxy cluster, (2) the effect of environment on the circumgalactic medium, and (3) the cause of neutral hydrogen gas extended beyond optical disks. Little warm gas is detected in the cluster center while there is abundant warm gas in the cluster outskirts and in the places where the Virgo substructures exist. The cluster is fully surrounded by low column density (N<sub>HI</sub> &sim 10<super>13</super> cm<super>-2</super>) warm gas. We conclude that it is infalling onto the cluster with the galaxies along the substructures. The galaxies in the substructures also have abundant cold gas. We are seeing the flows of gas and galaxies along filaments connected to the Virgo Cluster. The gas surrounding a galaxy, the circumgalactic medium, is mostly found for the galaxies in the circumcluster environment. The circumgalactic medium of galaxies close to the center of the cluster is truncated. Therefore, the cluster environment removes gas around a galaxy, which is a future source for continuing star formation. The atomic hydrogen observations of galaxies with extended HI disks are investigated to understand the its formation and connection of extended cold gas to environment. Galaxy-galaxy tidal interactions and gas accretion are the possible mechanisms to build up such gaseous disks.

Throughout this thesis, we find gaseous filaments feeding galaxies and a cluster. The gas properties of galaxies, including the circumgalactic medium and extended disk gas, in and around the cluster show a strong dependence on environment.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Astronomy
Thesis Advisors
Putman, Mary E.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 28, 2014