Probing the cold phase of the interstellar medium and star formation in nearby galaxies

Neven Tomicic , MPIA
Properly measuring the spatial distribution of the star formation rate (SFR) in nearby galaxies helps us to understand the driving forces for the star formation in galaxies, and their effects on the interstellar medium (ISM). Additionally, it can lead to better understanding the physical factors that set the efficiency with which galaxies convert gas into stars (star formation efficiency\; SFE), and their role in galactic evolution. However, this is hindered by the uncertainties in estimating SFRs and calibrating the SFR prescriptions. Furthermore, variations in the star formation efficiency between and within galaxies are difficult to disentangle from uncertainties of their estimated SFRs. The uncertainties in estimating SFRs are caused by not properly measuring the attenuation of light, probing large spatial scales across nearby galaxies, or averaging over a large sample of galaxies.
To bypass these uncertainties, common SFR prescriptions are used, which also have large uncertainties and variations.

In this talk, I will show how we utilize optical integral field unit (IFU) observations of the nearby Andromeda galaxy, in order to properly measure the attenuation of light at high spatial resolution (100 pc), and thus properly estimate the SFRs and the SFR prescriptions. Moreover, by using the results of our optical IFU and sub-mm observations of the interacting galaxy NGC 2276, I will show how the early phase of galactic interaction affects the star formation efficiency of molecular gas across the interacting galaxy.
Königstuhl Colloquium
22 Mar 2019, 15:00
MPIA lecture hall

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