Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO (MaNGA) is a large survey, part of SDSS-IV, which aims to obtain integral field spectroscopy for an unprecedented sample of 10,000 nearby galaxies (Bundy et al. 2014). This survey is ideal for systematically investigating the spatial dimension of galaxy evolution over a wide range of galaxy properties and AGN activity. MaNGA delivers resolved optical spectroscopic data, allowing these quantities to be mapped in two dimensions for a sample of 10,000 nearby galaxies. Many critical diagnostics, which provide insight into the formation processes of galaxies, are only available to such resolved observations. However, the molecular gas phase is not probed by MaNGA observatiosn. Understanding the behaviour of the cold phase of the interstellar medium (ISM) is central to understanding the galaxy evolution process as a whole. Galaxies exist in a state of flux, being subject to a range of physical processes (including accretion, gas outflow, and star formation) which are the drivers of galaxy evolution. Carbon Monoxide (CO) remains the most widely used tracer of molecular gas, both locally and in the high- redshift Universe.
The MaNGA-ARO Survey of CO Targets (MASCOT) survey is using the Arizona Radio Observatoryto obtain molecular gas mass measurements of MaNGA galaxies using CO(1-0) as a tracer. This large survey of molecular gas in galaxies with existing IFU data represents a uniquely powerful tool for addressing a host of science questions. Of primary interest is the connection between molecular gas and gaseous metallicity gradients, ionisation mechanism gradients, as well as gradients in stellar age, metallicity, and alpha element abundance, and the existence, strength, and spatial distribution of galactic winds.
- How are the CO properties of galaxies related to spatially resolved diagnostics such as metallicity gradients, stellar age, alpha abundance etc.?
- What is the link between the cold gas traced by CO and spatially resolved star formation diagnostics?
- What is the link between AGN activity and the cold gas? Does the spatial extension of the AGN-ionised region or the AGN-driven outflow correlate or anti-correlate with the content of molecular gas?
- How are the kinematics of the different components of the gas in galaxies related?