IGM-Vis: Analyzing Intergalactic and Circumgalactic Medium Absorption Using Quasar Sightlines in a Cosmic Web Context

17 Dec 2018  ·  Joseph N. Burchett, David Abramov, Jasmine Otto, Cassia Artanegara, J. Xavier Prochaska, Angus G. Forbes ·

We introduce IGM-Vis, a novel astrophysics visualization and data analysis application for investigating galaxies and the gas that surrounds them in context with their larger scale environment, the Cosmic Web. Environment is an important factor in the evolution of galaxies from actively forming stars to quiescent states with little, if any, discernible star formation activity. The gaseous halos of galaxies (the circumgalactic medium, or CGM) play a critical role in their evolution, because the gas necessary to fuel star formation and any gas expelled from widely observed galactic winds must encounter this interface region between galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). We present a taxonomy of tasks typically employed in IGM/CGM studies informed by a survey of astrophysicists at various career levels, and demonstrate how these tasks are facilitated via the use of our visualization software. Finally, we evaluate the effectiveness of IGM-Vis through two in-depth use cases that depict real-world analysis sessions that use IGM/CGM data.

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics Astrophysics of Galaxies