Starbursts, Metallicity, and the Disruption of Dwarf Galaxies

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Session 108 -- Dwarf and Irregular Galaxies
Display presentation, Saturday, January 15, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[108.04] Starbursts, Metallicity, and the Disruption of Dwarf Galaxies

D. S. De Young (KPNO/NOAO), T. Heckman (Johns Hopkins Univ)

Major starburst events can last tens of millions of years, and in the process they can deposit significant amounts of energy into the surrounding interstellar medium. This energy from supernovae and stellar winds imparts enough momentum to the interstellar medium that portions of the ISM can become unbound and leave the parent galaxy, taking the metal enriched stellar debris along. In dwarf galaxies, starbursts can produce enough total energy to unbind most or all of the ambient ISM. Whether this actually occurs is a strong function of the ellipticity of the ISM distribution, with flat disks and spheres being the limiting cases. We calculate whether "blow out" along the symmetry axis or "blow away" of the entire ISM occurs in dwarf galaxies as a function of galactic mass, starburst energy, ISM density and ISM ellipticity. We find that for physically reasonable values of these parameters a blow out along the symmetry axis occurs in the majority of cases, though a significant fraction of small dwarf galaxies can lose most of their ISM. The effects of this range of behavior on the metallicities that would be observed in these galaxies is examined.

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