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A portrait of cold gas in galaxies at 60 pc resolution and a simple method to test hypotheses that link small-scale ISM structure to galaxy-scale processes

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Abstract
The cloud-scale density, velocity dispersion, and gravitational boundedness of the interstellar medium (ISM) vary within and among galaxies. In turbulent models, these properties play key roles in the ability of gas to form stars. New high-fidelity, high-resolution surveys offer the prospect to measure these quantities across galaxies. We present a simple approach to make such measurements and to test hypotheses that link small-scale gas structure to star formation and galactic environment. Our calculations capture the key physics of the Larson scaling relations, and we show good correspondence between our approach and a traditional "cloud properties" treatment. However, we argue that our method is preferable in many cases because of its simple, reproducible characterization of all emission. Using, low-J (CO)-C-12 data from recent surveys, we characterize the molecular ISM at 60 pc resolution in the Antennae, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), M31, M33, M51, and M74. We report the distributions of surface density, velocity dispersion, and gravitational boundedness at 60 pc scales and show galaxy-to-galaxy and intragalaxy variations in each. The distribution of flux as a function of surface density appears roughly lognormal with a 1 sigma width of similar to 0.3 dex, though the center of this distribution varies from galaxy to galaxy. The 60 pc resolution line width and molecular gas surface density correlate well, which is a fundamental behavior expected for virialized or free-falling gas. Varying the measurement scale for the LMC and M31, we show that the molecular ISM has higher surface densities, lower line widths, and more self-gravity at smaller scales.
Keywords
GIANT MOLECULAR CLOUDS, LARGE-MAGELLANIC-CLOUD, STAR-FORMATION RATE, NEARBY GALAXIES, INTERSTELLAR-MEDIUM, H I, FORMATION EFFICIENCY, VELOCITY DISPERSION, ANTENNAE GALAXIES, SPIRAL GALAXIES, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: star formation, ISM: clouds, ISM: molecules, ISM: structure

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MLA
Leroy, Adam K. et al. “A Portrait of Cold Gas in Galaxies at 60 Pc Resolution and a Simple Method to Test Hypotheses That Link Small-scale ISM Structure to Galaxy-scale Processes.” ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 831.1 (2016): n. pag. Print.
APA
Leroy, A. K., Hughes, A., Schruba, A., Rosolowsky, E., Blanc, G. A., Bolatto, A. D., Colombo, D., et al. (2016). A portrait of cold gas in galaxies at 60 pc resolution and a simple method to test hypotheses that link small-scale ISM structure to galaxy-scale processes. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 831(1).
Chicago author-date
Leroy, Adam K., Annie Hughes, Andreas Schruba, Erik Rosolowsky, Guillermo A. Blanc, Alberto D. Bolatto, Dario Colombo, et al. 2016. “A Portrait of Cold Gas in Galaxies at 60 Pc Resolution and a Simple Method to Test Hypotheses That Link Small-scale ISM Structure to Galaxy-scale Processes.” Astrophysical Journal 831 (1).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Leroy, Adam K., Annie Hughes, Andreas Schruba, Erik Rosolowsky, Guillermo A. Blanc, Alberto D. Bolatto, Dario Colombo, Andres Escala, Carsten Kramer, J. M. Diederik Kruijssen, Sharon Meidt van der Wel, Jerome Pety, Miguel Querejeta, Karin Sandstrom, Eva Schinnerer, Kazimierz Sliwa, and Antonio Usero. 2016. “A Portrait of Cold Gas in Galaxies at 60 Pc Resolution and a Simple Method to Test Hypotheses That Link Small-scale ISM Structure to Galaxy-scale Processes.” Astrophysical Journal 831 (1).
Vancouver
1.
Leroy AK, Hughes A, Schruba A, Rosolowsky E, Blanc GA, Bolatto AD, et al. A portrait of cold gas in galaxies at 60 pc resolution and a simple method to test hypotheses that link small-scale ISM structure to galaxy-scale processes. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL. 2016;831(1).
IEEE
[1]
A. K. Leroy et al., “A portrait of cold gas in galaxies at 60 pc resolution and a simple method to test hypotheses that link small-scale ISM structure to galaxy-scale processes,” ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, vol. 831, no. 1, 2016.
@article{8622236,
  abstract     = {The cloud-scale density, velocity dispersion, and gravitational boundedness of the interstellar medium (ISM) vary within and among galaxies. In turbulent models, these properties play key roles in the ability of gas to form stars. New high-fidelity, high-resolution surveys offer the prospect to measure these quantities across galaxies. We present a simple approach to make such measurements and to test hypotheses that link small-scale gas structure to star formation and galactic environment. Our calculations capture the key physics of the Larson scaling relations, and we show good correspondence between our approach and a traditional "cloud properties" treatment. However, we argue that our method is preferable in many cases because of its simple, reproducible characterization of all emission. Using, low-J (CO)-C-12 data from recent surveys, we characterize the molecular ISM at 60 pc resolution in the Antennae, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), M31, M33, M51, and M74. We report the distributions of surface density, velocity dispersion, and gravitational boundedness at 60 pc scales and show galaxy-to-galaxy and intragalaxy variations in each. The distribution of flux as a function of surface density appears roughly lognormal with a 1 sigma width of similar to 0.3 dex, though the center of this distribution varies from galaxy to galaxy. The 60 pc resolution line width and molecular gas surface density correlate well, which is a fundamental behavior expected for virialized or free-falling gas. Varying the measurement scale for the LMC and M31, we show that the molecular ISM has higher surface densities, lower line widths, and more self-gravity at smaller scales.},
  articleno    = {16},
  author       = {Leroy, Adam K. and Hughes, Annie and Schruba, Andreas and Rosolowsky, Erik and Blanc, Guillermo A. and Bolatto, Alberto D. and Colombo, Dario and Escala, Andres and Kramer, Carsten and Kruijssen, J. M. Diederik and van der Wel, Sharon Meidt and Pety, Jerome and Querejeta, Miguel and Sandstrom, Karin and Schinnerer, Eva and Sliwa, Kazimierz and Usero, Antonio},
  issn         = {0004-637X},
  journal      = {ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL},
  keywords     = {GIANT MOLECULAR CLOUDS,LARGE-MAGELLANIC-CLOUD,STAR-FORMATION RATE,NEARBY GALAXIES,INTERSTELLAR-MEDIUM,H I,FORMATION EFFICIENCY,VELOCITY DISPERSION,ANTENNAE GALAXIES,SPIRAL GALAXIES,galaxies: ISM,galaxies: star formation,ISM: clouds,ISM: molecules,ISM: structure},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {33},
  title        = {A portrait of cold gas in galaxies at 60 pc resolution and a simple method to test hypotheses that link small-scale ISM structure to galaxy-scale processes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/0004-637X/831/1/16},
  volume       = {831},
  year         = {2016},
}

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