Timothy M. Heckman, Sanchayeeta Borthakur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Interstellar ultraviolet absorption lines provide crucial information about the properties of galactic outflows. In this paper, we augment our previous analysis of the systematic properties of starburst-driven galactic outflows by expanding our sample to include a rare population of starbursts with exceptionally high outflow velocities. In principle, these could be a qualitatively different phenomenon from more typical outflows. However, we find that instead these starbursts lie on, or along the extrapolation of, the trends defined by the more typical systems studied previously by us. We exploit the wide dynamic range provided by this new sample to determine scaling relations of outflow velocity with galaxy stellar mass (M ), circular velocity, star formation rate (SFR), SFR/M , and SFR/area. We argue that these results can be accommodated within the general interpretational framework we previously advocated, in which a population of ambient interstellar or circumgalactic clouds is accelerated by the combined forces of gravity and the momentum flux from the starburst. We show that this simple physical picture is consistent with both the strong cosmological evolution of galactic outflows in typical star-forming galaxies and the paucity of such galaxies with spectra showing inflows. We also present simple parameterizations of these results that can be implemented in theoretical models and numerical simulations of galaxy evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • galaxies: starburst
  • intergalactic medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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