Multi-scale Star Formation Across Nascent Galaxies


MUSTANG group quantifies molecular cloud lifecycle

Using our new analysis methods developed in-house, we have characterised the evolutionary timeline of cloud-scale star formation in unprecedented detail. The results appeared in Nature.

Figure 1: The image on the left shows that the positions of molecular clouds (blue) and emission from young stars (pink) do not coincide on small spatial scales. The two branches on the right quantify this displacement by showing that molecular clouds and young stars are only correlated when averaging over a large part of the galaxy (1.000 pc, corresponding to 3.000 light years). Credit: Diederik Kruijssen & Nature.

Video 1: The movie demonstrates that molecular clouds (top right) and young stars (top left) are anti-correlated in the nearby galaxy NGC300. As the video plays, the spatial resolution increases and the ratio between molecular clouds and emission from young stars (bottom left) changes from white (strong correlation) on large scales to bright red and blue (strong anti-correlation) on small scales. The graph in the bottom-right panel quantifies this behaviour. Credit: Diederik Kruijssen & Nature.

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