The EDGE-CALIFA Survey: Evidence for Pervasive Extraplanar Diffuse Ionized Gas in Nearby Edge-on Galaxies

Rebecca C. Levy, Alberto D. Bolatto, Sebastián F. Sánchez, Leo Blitz, Dario Colombo, Veselina Kalinova, Carlos López-Cobá, Eve C. Ostriker, Peter Teuben, Dyas Utomo, Stuart N. Vogel, Tony Wong

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39 Scopus citations


We investigate the prevalence, properties, and kinematics of extraplanar diffuse ionized gas (eDIG) in a sample of 25 edge-on galaxies selected from the CALIFA survey. We measure ionized gas scale heights from Hα and find that 90% have measurable scale heights with a median of kpc. From the Hα kinematics, we find that 60% of galaxies show a decrease in the rotation velocity as a function of height above the midplane. This lag is characteristic of eDIG, and we measure a median lag of 21 km s-1 kpc-1, which is comparable to lags measured in the literature. We also investigate variations in the lag with radius. H i lags have been reported to systematically decrease with galactocentric radius. We find both increasing and decreasing ionized gas lags with radius, as well as a large number of galaxies consistent with no radial lag variation, and investigate these results in the context of internal and external origins for the lagging ionized gas. We confirm that the [S ii]/Hα and [N ii]/Hα line ratios increase with height above the midplane as is characteristic of eDIG. The ionization of the eDIG is dominated by star-forming complexes (leaky H ii regions). We conclude that the lagging ionized gas is turbulent ejected gas likely resulting from star formation activity in the disk as opposed to gas in the stellar thick disk or bulge. This is further evidence for the eDIG being a product of stellar feedback and for the pervasiveness of this WIM-like phase in many local star-forming galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics


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