Institute of Astronomy

Massive Molecular Outflows and Negative Feedback in Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Eckhard Sturm, MPE2 February 2012Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


Recent Herschel/PACS observations have detected massive amounts of molecular gas gusting at high velocities - in some cases in excess of 1000 kilometres per second - from the centres of a set of merging galaxies. Driven by star formation and central black holes, these powerful storms are strong enough to sweep away billions of solar masses of molecular gas and to interfere with global galactic processes. These observations indicate that, in the galaxies hosting the brightest Active Galactic Nuclei, outflows can clear the entire supply for creating stars and feeding the black hole. This finding provides long-sought-after evidence of highly energetic feedback processes taking place in galaxies as they evolve. I will summarize the current status of this ongoing observing programme as well as of further recent mm-observations in the context of molecular outflows.