PhD Thesis Defenses

PhD Thesis defense: Impact of feedback on the ISM of extreme starburst galaxies: The case of Haro 11

Blue compact galaxies (BCGs) are compact, metal-poor, starbursting galaxies with characteristics similar to what is expected for the young high-redshifted galaxies. BCGs are among the most active in producing a large number of massive star clusters, each containing thousands of massive stars. During their short life, massive stars are continuously injecting energy, heat and momentum into the ISM via their intense radiation, stellar winds, and later on supernova explosions. These feedback mechanisms impact directly the star’s surroundings, but when this feedback originates from a concentration of massive star clusters, it can strongly affect the condition of the gas of the entire galaxy.

This thesis presents a detailed analysis of the ionized gas condition and the effect of strong feedback in Haro 11, an extreme starbursting BCG and the closest Lyman continuum (LyC) leaking galaxy. We exploit the spectro-photometric capabilities of the MUSE instrument, by slicing the galaxy spectra in a sequence of maps in velocity bins, in order to obtain a 3D information of the galaxy. Haro 11 has a rich population of massive and predominantly young star clusters, concentrated in three compact knots within its 4 x 4 kpc$^2$ centre. We find that the localised stellar feedback is strongly impacting the global kinematics and the condition of the gas up to further distances in the halo. Many kpc-scale structures such as filaments, shells and bubbles were traced in our data. Moreover, the strong feedback seems to have developed kpc-scale bubbles, outflows and galactic ionized cones with drastic consequences for the likely escape of Ly$\alpha$ and LyC photons, gas and metals out of the galaxy. The extended halo around Haro 11 is governed by photoionization processes and/or shocks from recurrent supernovae originated in the central starburst region. Due to the galaxy’s extreme ISM condition, commonly used emission lines diagnostics produce, in part, large discrepancies in the ionized gas properties.

The results presented in this work highlight: a) the strong impact of stellar feedback affecting the ISM at all scales in starburst systems; b) the fact that traditional relations drawn up from averaged measurements of emission lines or from simplified models, fail in probing the condition of the gas in extreme environments. This is an appeal to revisit the standard relations by including more realistic models where several physical processes are simultaneously at work; c) the method applied here can be used to explore in detail the high sensitive, high spatial-resolution data from future facilities such as JWST/ELT.