Revisiting FUSE O vi Emission in Galaxy Halos

Haeun Chung, Carlos J. Vargas, Erika Hamden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A significant fraction of baryons in galaxies are in the form of diffuse gas of the circumgalactic medium (CGM). One critical component of the multiphases of CGM, the so-called "coronal"warm-hot phase gas (105-106 K) traced by O vi 1031.93, 1037.62 Å resonance lines, has rarely been detected in emission from galaxy halos other than that of the Milky Way. Here we report four additional detections of O vi emission gas in the halos of nearby edge-on galaxies, NGC 4631 and NGC 891, using archival Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer data and an updated data pipeline. We find the most intense O vi emission to be from fields forming a vertical line near the center of NGC 4631, despite the close proximity to the disk of two other fields. The detected O vi emission surface brightness is about (1.1 ± 0.3) × 10-18 to (3.9 ± 0.8) × 10-18 erg s-1 cm-2 arcsec-2. The spatial distribution of the five 30″ × 30″ O vi detection fields in NGC 4631 can be interpreted as the existence of filamentary structures of more intense O vi emission superimposed within a diffuse and faint O vi halo in star-forming galaxies. Volume-filled O vi emission mapping is greatly needed to determine the structure and prevalence of warm-hot gas and the role it plays in the cycling of gas between the galaxy disk and the halo. Finally, we present the sensitivity of future funded and proposed UV missions (LUVOIR-A, LUVOIR-B, CETUS, and Aspera) to the detection of diffuse and faint O vi emission in nearby galaxy halos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume916
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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