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Astro & GW Colloquium

Resolving Star Formation in the Nearby Universe

Speaker: Dr Andreas Schruba (MPE, Germany)
Date: Wednesday 14 November 2018
Time: 14:00
Venue: Queens Buildings N/3.28

State-of-the-art instrumentation like ALMA, NOEMA, JVLA, and VLT/MUSE is revolutionizing our view on the gas-star formation (SF) cycle in nearby galaxies. I will highlight recent results from several concerted large surveys targeting galaxies inside and outside the Local Group. These observations resolve the interstellar medium (ISM) and young stellar population down to individual molecular clouds and young stars, providing a view as detailed as so far only known from within the Milky Way but now across the nearby galaxy population. This includes (a) the finding of a strong metallicity dependence of the atomic-molecular gas transition as suggested by shielding-based theories. (b) A common self-regulated dynamical state of molecular gas in gas-rich galaxies, which however is effectively altered by host galaxy properties in low-density regimes. (c) I will explore how the efficiency of SF depends on small- and large-scale gas properties in contrast to analytical SF theories. (d) I highlight how we measure molecular cloud lifetimes and test theories of their formation and evolution. In summary, new high-resolution observations of nearby galaxies transform our understanding on how ISM properties and the SF process depend on galactic environment and regulate each other.