DK: Dhanesh Krishnarao

Ph.D Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison

I'm a first generation American studying astrophysics enthusiastic about food and travel

Contact Me

Email : krishnarao [at]

Address : Department of Astronomy - 6283B Chamberlin Hall, 475 N Charter St. Madison, WI 53706

The Milky Way

The Tilted Disk: Discovery of Ionized Gas Around the Galactic Bar

Science Advances - Submitted

I exploit a convenient tilted distribution of gas from the bar region of the Milky Way to observe optical emission lines through a low extinction window. This allowed for the inner Milky Way to be placed on a Baldwin-Phillips-Terlevich (BPT) diagram, for the first time. The inner Milky Way is now the closest example of gas consistent with Low Ionization (Nuclear) Emission Regions--LI(N)ERs.


Warm Ionized Medium: Flaring in the Sagittarius-Carina Arm

Astrophysical Journal - March, 2017 

I implemented a novel means to isolate ionized gas emission (Hα) along spiral arms using CO emission as a template in position-position-velocity space. This allowed for extended maps of ionized gas to be made and the vertical structure to be studied. We found a dramatic increase in the scale height of the ionized gas along the Carina spiral arm compared with the rest of the Galaxy.



Milky Way Analogs: The Effect of Bars on the Ionized ISM

Astrophysical Journal - Submitted

I designed samples of barred and nonbarred galaxies to gain a face-on, extragalactic perspective on how the ISM is affected by bars in galaxies. With the help of SDSS MaNGA integral field observations of thousands of galaxies and citizen science efforts from Galaxy Zoo:3D, I find an apparent link between bars and LI(N)ERs. The vicinity of bars in galaxies show an increased presence of LI(N)ERs than their nonbarred counterparts accross almost all total galaxy masses. This further brings up the question of how exactly this gas is ionized in a region that also shows a suppression of star formation.