Workshop on Feedback in the Magellanic Clouds
The Institute hosted a science workshop from October 5–7, 2015 on Feedback in the Magellanic Clouds. This event focused on stellar and galactic feedback in two of our nearest dwarf-galaxy neighbors, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. It featured 75 registered participants, 32 posters, 13 invited talks, and a range of contributed talks and discussions.
Feedback is a mechanism by which star formation in the present affects star formation in the future. Current generations of stars release energy into the surrounding interstellar gas and sculpt the reservoir from which new stars are born. The cumulative mechanical, thermal, and radiative energy injection drives large-scale gas flows both within and out of galaxies. Feedback redistributes mass and metals around galaxies, regulates their star-formation rates, and helps to create the diverse range of morphology observed in galaxies.
The Magellanic Clouds offer an ideal opportunity to study feedback. They are nearby and spatially resolved, home to known stellar populations, surrounded by large quantities of neutral and ionized gas, and studied across the electromagnetic spectrum. The Large Magellanic Cloud is home to the giant H II region 30 Doradus (see Figure 1), which offers a close-up view into a starburst region unlike any other in the Local Group. The Magellanic Clouds allow us to study feedback on stellar, cluster, and galactic scales, giving us insight into how energy propagates from the sources where it is injected by supernovae and stellar winds, to the halos where outflows head out into intergalactic space.
Starburst-driven winds are not the only means of removing gas from the Magellanic Clouds. Their mutual gravitational interaction (possibly including a past direct collision) has removed large amounts of their interstellar gas through tidal forces, creating the Magellanic Bridge and Stream. Furthermore, as the Clouds pass through the extended gaseous halo of the Milky Way, a force known as ram-pressure can also strip gas out of the Clouds. Distinguishing feedback effects from tidal- and ram-pressure effects is necessary to understand the large-scale gas morphology of the Clouds and the origin of the Bridge and Stream, and the workshop featured a discussion of these processes.
In this workshop, recent progress in Magellanic science was discussed, with a focus on feedback. Both observational and theoretical perspectives were included, as well as what we can learn about feedback in other dwarf galaxies. The Scientific Organizing Committee were particularly interested in bringing together astronomers who work on different aspects of the Magellanic system: its stars, clusters, interstellar gas, dust, and dynamics, so that new collaborations might be sparked. In our selection of invited and contributed talks, we were keen to select a speaker list that reflected gender diversity and a good balance between junior and senior astronomers, and we are confident that we met these goals. The poster session was set up to provide a relaxed environment where poster presenters had time to discuss their science with colleagues, and this was well received.
We are grateful to the event coordinator Sherita Hanna, and to the other members of the SOC (Bill Blair, Alex Fullerton, Margaret Meixner, Julia Roman-Duval, Hugues Sana, Linda Smith, Roeland van der Marel, and Nolan Walborn), who made this event possible.
The conference webpage is at http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/fimc/.
The schedule is located at http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/fimc/schedule.pdf.
The webcast is at https://webcast.stsci.edu/webcast/searchresults.xhtml?searchtype=20&eventid=230&sortmode=2.