PHANGS-JWST First Results: Multi-wavelength view of feedback-driven bubbles (The Phantom Voids) across NGC 628

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We present a high-resolution view of bubbles within The Phantom Galaxy (NGC 628); a nearby (~10Mpc), star-forming (~2Msun/yr), face-on (i~9deg) grand-design spiral galaxy. With new data obtained as part of the PHANGS-JWST treasury program, we perform a detailed case-study of two regions of interest, one of which contains the largest and most prominent bubble in the galaxy (The Phantom Void; over 1kpc in diameter), and the other being a smaller region that may be the precursor to such a large bubble (The Precursor Phantom Void). When comparing to matched resolution Halpha observations from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we see that the ionized gas is brightest in the shells of both bubbles, and is coincident with the youngest (~1Myr) and most massive (~100,000Msun) stellar associations. We also find an older generation (~20Myr) of stellar associations is present within the bubble of The Phantom Void. From our kinematic analysis of the HI, H2 (CO) and HII gas across The Phantom Void, we infer a high expansion speed of around 15 to 50km/s. The large size and high expansion speed of The Phantom Void suggest that the driving mechanism is sustained stellar feedback due to multiple mechanisms, where early feedback first cleared a bubble (as we observe now in The Precursor Phantom Void), and since then SNe have been exploding within the cavity, and have accelerated the shell. Finally, comparison to simulations shows a striking resemblance to our JWST observations, and suggests that such large-scale stellar feedback-driven bubbles should be common within other galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2022


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