Shocks are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium (ISM), where they constitute a major input of energy, along with energetic photons and cosmic rays. The study of shocks provides a strong support to study all these modes of energy injection to the ISM, and hence its own evolution as a whole. In particular, studying interstellar shocks is a good way to probe the chemistry of the ISM, and thus to better understand the cycle of matter in galaxies. It allows to measure the energetic impact these shocks exert on their environment, to quantify their contribution to the energetic balance of galaxies, and ultimately to evaluate the feedback of stars on galaxies. Interstellar shocks are also key to a better understanding of star formation, whether they have been generated by star formation, or whether they have triggered star formation. Finally, the study of interstellar shocks is also important to precise our understanding of the composition and acceleration of cosmic rays. In this talk, I propose to illustrate all these aspects, through the studies of shocks allowed by the SOFIA telescope, and specially by the GREAT receiver. To this aim, I will highlight the latest results we obtained in bipolar outflows associated with protostars of all kinds of masses, supernova remnants, and converging flows.
Interstellar Shock Studies: the Contribution of SOFIA/GREAT
LERMA, Observatoire de Paris