Using THOR's Hammer to Measure the Temperature of the Milky Way

One important step in how determing the star formation rate of a galaxy is understanding how gas from its warm and diffuse state to a dense and cold state, which can potentially form stars. This evolution starts in the Milky Way’s gaseous halo and carries throughout the Galactic disk. The temperature structure, particularly the fraction of cold-to-warm hydrogen in the lower halo and across the Milky Way disk, tells us about how gas cools and through that, probes the evolutionary history of the Milky Way.

This project will look at the multi-temperature structure of Milky Way disk and circumgalactic gas surrounding the Milky Way using new data of atomic hydrogen (HI) absorption from the Very Large Array survey, THOR, and upcoming data with the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) Survey of Galactic atomic hydrogen, GASKAP.  These two surveys will be the best surveys of atomic gas in the Milky Way for decades.  You will use THOR data to help develop the pipelines required to analyse ASKAP data. PhD & Masters students on this project will have the opportunity to be among the first users of ASKAP.