Nikolaus Prusinski, “Star Formation and Galactic Outflows in the Early Universe”
Mentor: Dawn Erb, Physics
Intense star formation in galaxies results in powerful, galactic-scale outflows of gas. Because stars form from gas, these outflows have a strong effect on the evolution of galaxies, but the primary driving mechanisms are still uncertain. We investigate the connection between galactic outflows and the morphology of star formation using two independent data sets covering a sample of galaxies in the early universe. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) provides high spatial resolution emission line spectra yielding maps of the extent and strength of star formation, while absorption line spectra from the Keck Observatory at Mauna Kea provide the intensity and velocity of the outflows. The joint HST/Keck dataset enables direct comparisons between star forming regions and the outflows they drive. Future facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the upcoming extremely large telescopes (ELTs) will extend these studies to lower masses and star formation rates, probing galactic feedback across orders of magnitude in galaxy properties.