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Gas and star formation in the nearby universe with ALMaQUEST

Sara Ellison (University of Victoria) // September 14, 2023

Abstract: Understanding the processes that regulate star formation in galaxies remains at the heart of modern extra-galactic astronomy, and debate continues as to why some galaxies exhibit powerful starbursts whilst others are largely dormant. The key to progress in this arena lies with assembling large, diverse samples of galaxies for which we can measure all of the critical ingredients, such as the current star formation rate (SFR) and gas content. However, it is insufficient to simply measure global galactic quantities, as we know that a given galaxy will manifest considerable internal diversity in its star formation activity. It is therefore essential to study gas and star formation on spatially resolved scales. The ALMA-MaNGA QUEnching and STar formation (ALMaQUEST) survey combines maps of stellar properties obtained from the MaNGA (optical) integral field unit survey with ALMA CO (1-0) maps on a common kpc-scale grid, in order to tackle questions of star formation in local galaxies. The 66 galaxies in the ALMaQUEST sample span a wide range of SFRs, including both normal star forming galaxies, as well as those both on their way to quenching, and those undergoing starbursts. In this talk, I will present the ALMaQUEST view of understanding the interplay of gas and star formation across this broad galactic landscape.

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