Amanda Heiderman


Exploring the Limits of Star Formation from the Extreme Environment of Starbursts to the Milky Way

Evans, N. J., Blanc, G., Gebhardt, K., Allen, L. E., Davis, T., Heyer, M., Huard, T., Iono, D., Papovich, C., & Yun, M.


We investigate the relation between star formation rate (SFR) and gas surface densities in Galactic clouds and integral field unit (IFU) spatially resolved regions in interacting/starburst galaxies. Our Galactic study uses a sample of 20 molecular clouds from the Spitzer c2d and Gould's Belt surveys. These data probe the low mass star formation regime that is essentially invisible to tracers used to establish extragalactic relations (eg., Schmidt-Kennicutt law). We find that Galactic clouds above a threshold of 129 Mpc−2 lie on a linear relation above extragalactic relations. Our extragalactic survey investigates the Schmidt-Kennicutt law and tests theoretical predictions at high SFR and gas surface densities in starburst galaxies. More specifically, we derive SFRs using H-alpha IFU and 24 μm data and compare to CO, HI, and HCN gas maps. These unique data sets allow us to compare SFR-gas surface density relations from Galactic clouds to extreme starbursts on spatially resolved scales.