Adam K. Leroy

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, United States

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Publications (182)660 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present CO velocity fields and rotation curves for a sample of nearby galaxies, based on data from the HERACLES survey. We combine our data with literature THINGS, SINGS and KINGFISH results to provide a comprehensive sample of mass models of disk galaxies inclusive of molecular gas. We compare the kinematics of the molecular (CO from HERACLES) and atomic (${\rm H{\scriptstyle I}}$ from THINGS) gas distributions to determine the extent to which CO may be used to probe the dynamics in the inner part of galaxies. In general, we find good agreement between the CO and ${\rm H{\scriptstyle I}}$ kinematics with small differences in the inner part of some galaxies. We add the contribution of the molecular gas to the mass models in our galaxies by using two different conversion factors $\mathrm{\alpha_{CO}}$ to convert CO luminosity to molecular gas mass surface density - the constant Milky Way value and the radially varying profiles determined in recent work based on THINGS, HERACLES and KINGFISH data. We study the relative effect that the addition of the molecular gas has upon the halo rotation curves for Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) and the observationally motivated pseudo-isothermal halos. The contribution of the molecular gas varies for galaxies in our sample - for those galaxies where there is a substantial molecular gas content, using different values of $\mathrm{\alpha_{CO}}$ can result in significant differences to the relative contribution of the molecular gas and, hence, the shape of the dark matter halo rotation curves in the central regions of galaxies.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the velocity dispersions of individual HI and CO profiles in a number of nearby galaxies from the high-resolution HERACLES CO and THINGS HI surveys. Focusing on regions with bright CO emission, we find a CO dispersion value: 7.3 $\pm$ 1.7 km/s. The corresponding HI dispersion is 11.7 $\pm$ 2.3 km/s, yielding a mean HI/CO dispersion ratio of 1.4 $\pm$ 0.2, independent of radius. We find that the CO velocity dispersion increases towards lower peak fluxes. This is consistent with previous work where we showed that when using spectra averaged ("stacked") over large areas, larger values for the CO dispersion are found, and a lower dispersion ratio: 1.0 $\pm$ 0.2. The stacking method is more sensitive to low-level diffuse emission, whereas individual profiles trace narrow-line, GMC-dominated, bright emission. These results provide further evidence that disk galaxies contain not only a thin, low velocity dispersion, high density CO disk that is dominated by GMCs, but also a fainter, higher dispersion, diffuse disk component.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present an updated status of the EDGE project, which is a survey of 125 local galaxies in the $^{12}$CO($1-0$) and $^{13}$CO($1-0$) lines. We combine the molecular data of the EDGE survey with the stellar and ionized gas maps of the CALIFA survey to give a comprehensive view of the dependence of the star formation efficiency, or equivalently, the molecular gas depletion time, on various local environments, such as the stellar surface density, metallicity, and radius from the galaxy center. This study will provide insight into the parameters that drive the star formation efficiency in galaxies at $z \sim 0$.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The Magellanic Clouds provide the only laboratory to study the effect of metallicity and galaxy mass on molecular gas and star formation at high (~20 pc) resolution. We use the dust emission from HERITAGE Herschel data to map the molecular gas in the Magellanic Clouds, avoiding the known biases of CO emission as a tracer of H2. Using our dust-based molecular gas estimates, we find molecular gas depletion times of ~0.4 Gyr in the LMC and ~0.6 SMC at 1 kpc scales. These depletion times fall within the range found for normal disk galaxies, but are shorter than the average value, which could be due to recent bursts in star formation. We find no evidence for a strong intrinsic dependence of the molecular gas depletion time on metallicity. We study the relationship between gas and star formation rate across a range in size scales from 20 pc to ~1 kpc, including how the scatter in molecular gas depletion time changes with size scale, and discuss the physical mechanisms driving the relationships. We compare the metallicity-dependent star formation models of Ostriker, McKee, and Leroy (2010) and Krumholz (2013) to our observations and find that they both predict the trend in the data, suggesting that the inclusion of a diffuse neutral medium is important at lower metallicity, but do not capture the full extent of the scatter in the relationship between gas and star formation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: This white paper discusses how a "next-generation" Very Large Array (ngVLA) operating in the frequency range 1-116 GHz could be a groundbreaking tool to study the detailed astrophysics of the "matter cycle" in the Milky Way and other galaxies. If optimized for high brightness sensitivity, the ngVLA would bring detailed microwave spectroscopy and modeling of the full radio spectral energy distribution into regular use as survey tools at resolutions of 0.1- 1 arcseconds. This wavelength range includes powerful diagnostics of density, excitation, and chemistry in the cold ISM, as well as multiple tracers of the rate of recent star formation, the magnetic field, shocks, and properties of the ionized ISM. We highlight design considerations that would make this facility revolutionary in this area, the foremost of which is a large amount of collecting area on ~km-length baselines. We also emphasize the strong case for harnessing the large proposed collecting area of the ngVLA for very long baseline applications as part of the core design. This would allow measurements of the three dimensional space motions of galaxies to beyond the Local Group and mapping of the Milky Way out to the far side of the disk. Finally, we discuss the gains from the proposed combination of very high resolution and sensitivity to thermal emission, which include observing the feeding of black holes and resolving forming protoclusters.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We summarize the design, capabilities, and some of the priority science goals of a next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). The ngVLA is an interferometric array with 10x larger effective collecting area and 10x higher spatial resolution than the current VLA and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), optimized for operation in the wavelength range 0.3cm to 3cm. The ngVLA opens a new window on the Universe through ultra-sensitive imaging of thermal line and continuum emission down to milliarcecond resolution, as well as unprecedented broad band continuum polarimetric imaging of non-thermal processes. The continuum resolution will reach 9mas at 1cm, with a brightness temperature sensitivity of 6K in 1 hour. For spectral lines, the array at 1" resolution will reach 0.3K surface brightness sensitivity at 1cm and 10 km/s spectral resolution in 1 hour. These capabilities are the only means with which to answer a broad range of critical scientific questions in modern astronomy, including direct imaging of planet formation in the terrestrial-zone, studies of dust-obscured star formation and the cosmic baryon cycle down to pc-scales out to the Virgo cluster, making a cosmic census of the molecular gas which fuels star formation back to first light and cosmic reionization, and novel techniques for exploring temporal phenomena from milliseconds to years. The ngVLA is optimized for observations at wavelengths between the superb performance of ALMA at submm wavelengths, and the future SKA1 at few centimeter and longer wavelengths. This memo introduces the project. The science capabilities are outlined in a parallel series of white papers. We emphasize that this initial set of science goals are simply a starting point for the project. We invite comment on these programs, as well as new ideas, through our public forum link on the ngVLA web page https://science.nrao.edu/futures/ngvla
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We use the CARMA millimeter interferometer to map the Antennae Galaxies (NGC4038/39), tracing the bulk of the molecular gas via the 12CO(1-0) line and denser molecular gas via the high density transitions HCN(1-0), HCO+(1-0), CS(2-1), and HNC(1-0). We detect bright emission from all tracers in both the two nuclei and three locales in the overlap region between the two nuclei. These three overlap region peaks correspond to previously identified "supergiant molecular clouds". We combine the CARMA data with Herschel infrared (IR) data to compare observational indicators of the star formation efficiency (SFR/H2~IR/CO), dense gas fraction (HCN/CO), and dense gas star formation efficiency (IR/HCN). Regions within the Antennae show ratios consistent with those seen for entire galaxies, but these ratios vary by up to a factor of 6 within the galaxy. The five detected regions vary strongly in both their integrated intensities and these ratios. The northern nucleus is the brightest region in mm-wave line emission, while the overlap region is the brightest part of the system in the IR. We combine the CARMA and Herschel data with ALMA CO data to report line ratio patterns for each bright point. CO shows a declining spectral line energy distribution, consistent with previous studies. HCO+(1-0) emission is stronger than HCN(1-0) emission, perhaps indicating either more gas at moderate densities or higher optical depth than is commonly seen in more advanced mergers.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The transport of gas towards the centre of galaxies is critical for black hole feeding and, indirectly, it can control active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback. We have quantified the molecular gas inflow in the central R<1kpc of M51 to be 1 Msun/yr, using a new gravitational torque map and the molecular gas traced by the PdBI Arcsecond Whirlpool Survey (PAWS). The nuclear stellar bar is responsible for this gas inflow. We have also used torque profiles to estimate the location of dynamical resonances, suggesting a corotation for the bar at R~20", and a corotation for the spiral at R~100". We demonstrate how important it is to correct 3.6um images for dust emission in order to compute gravitational torques, and we carefully examine further sources of uncertainty. Our observational measurement of gas inflow can be compared with nuclear molecular outflow rates and provide useful constraints for numerical simulations. Submitted to ApJ.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We map the distribution of dust in M31 at 25pc resolution, using stellar photometry from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury. We develop a new mapping technique that models the NIR color-magnitude diagram (CMD) of red giant branch (RGB) stars. The model CMDs combine an unreddened foreground of RGB stars with a reddened background population viewed through a log-normal column density distribution of dust. Fits to the model constrain the median extinction, the width of the extinction distribution, and the fraction of reddened stars. The resulting extinction map has >4 times better resolution than maps of dust emission, while providing a more direct measurement of the dust column. There is superb morphological agreement between the new map and maps of the extinction inferred from dust emission by Draine et al. 2014. However, the widely-used Draine & Li (2007) dust models overpredict the observed extinction by a factor of ~2.5, suggesting that M31's true dust mass is lower and that dust grains are significantly more emissive than assumed in Draine et al. (2014). The discrepancy we identify is consistent with similar findings in the Milky Way by the Planck Collaboration (2015), but has a more complex dependence on parameters from the Draine & Li (2007) dust models. We also show that the discrepancy with the Draine et al. (2014) map is lowest where the interstellar radiation field has a harder spectrum than average. We discuss possible improvements to the CMD dust mapping technique, and explore further applications.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a wide area (~ 8 x 8 kpc), sensitive map of CO (2-1) emission around the nearby starburst galaxy M82. Molecular gas extends far beyond the stellar disk, including emission associated with the well-known outflow as far as 3 kpc from M82's midplane. Kinematic signatures of the outflow are visible in both the CO and HI emission: both tracers show a minor axis velocity gradient and together they show double peaked profiles, consistent with a hot outflow bounded by a cone made of a mix of atomic and molecular gas. Combining our CO and HI data with observations of the dust continuum, we study the changing properties of the cold outflow as it leaves the disk. While H_2 dominates the ISM near the disk, the dominant phase of the cool medium changes as it leaves the galaxy and becomes mostly atomic after about a kpc. Several arguments suggest that regardless of phase, the mass in the cold outflow does not make it far from the disk; the mass flux through surfaces above the disk appears to decline with a projected scale length of ~ 1-2 kpc. The cool material must also end up distributed over a much wider angle than the hot outflow based on the nearly circular isophotes of dust and CO at low intensity and the declining rotation velocities as a function of height from the plane. The minor axis of M82 appears so striking at many wavelengths because the interface between the hot wind cavity and the cool gas produces Halpha, hot dust, PAH emission, and scattered UV light. We also show the level at which a face-on version of M82 would be detectable as an outflow based on unresolved spectroscopy. Finally, we consider multiple constraints on the CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor, which must change across the galaxy but appears to be only a factor of ~ 2 lower than the Galactic value in the outflow.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) Ka band (33 GHz) and Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) Band 3 (94.5 GHz) continuum images covering the nucleus and two extranuclear star-forming regions within the nearby galaxy NGC 3627 (M 66), observed as part of the Star Formation in Radio Survey (SFRS). Both images achieve an angular resolution of $\lesssim$2\arcsec, allowing us to map the radio spectral indices and estimate thermal radio fractions at a linear resolution of $\lesssim$90 pc at the distance of NGC 3627. The thermal fraction at 33 GHz reaches unity at and around the peaks of each HII region; we additionally observed the spectral index between 33 and 94.5 GHz to become both increasingly negative and positive away from the peaks of the HII regions, indicating an increase of non-thermal extended emission from diffusing cosmic-ray electrons and the possible presence of cold dust, respectively. While the ALMA observations were optimized for collecting continuum data, they also detected line emission from the $J=1\rightarrow0$ transitions of HCN and HCO$^{+}$. The peaks of dense molecular gas traced by these two spectral lines are spatially offset from the peaks of the 33 and 94.5 GHz continuum emission for the case of the extranuclear star-forming regions, indicating that our data reach an angular resolution at which one can spatially distinguish sites of recent star formation from the sites of future star formation. Finally, we find trends of decreasing dense gas fraction and velocity dispersion with increasing star formation efficiency among the three regions observed, indicating that the dynamical state of the dense gas, rather than its abundance, plays a more significant role in the star formation process.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of a search for large velocity width, low-intensity line wings - a commonly used signature of molecular outflows - in four low redshift (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs) that appear to be dominated by star formation. The targets were drawn from a sample of fourteen such galaxies presented in Chung et al. (2011), who showed the stacked CO spectrum of the sample to exhibit 1000 km/s-wide line wings. We obtained sensitive, wide bandwidth imaging of our targets using the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. We detect each target at very high significance but do not find the claimed line wings in these four targets. Instead, we constrain the flux in the line wings to be only a few percent. Casting our results as mass outflow rates following Cicone et al. (2014) we show them to be consistent with a picture in which very high mass loading factors preferentially occur in systems with high AGN contributions to their bolometric luminosity. We identify one of our targets, IRAS05083 (VII Zw 31), as a candidate molecular outflow.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array observations of the CO J=1-0 transition in a sample of four $z\sim2$ main sequence galaxies. These galaxies are in the blue sequence of star-forming galaxies at their redshift, and are part of the IRAM Plateau de Bure HIgh-$z$ Blue Sequence Survey (PHIBSS) which imaged them in CO J=3-2. Two galaxies are imaged here at high signal-to-noise, allowing determinations of their disk sizes, line profiles, molecular surface densities, and excitation. Using these and published measurements, we show that the CO and optical disks have similar sizes in main-sequence galaxies, and in the galaxy where we can compare CO J=1-0 and J=3-2 sizes we find these are also very similar. Assuming a Galactic CO-to-H$_2$ conversion, we measure surface densities of $\Sigma_{mol}\sim1200$ M$_\odot$pc$^{-2}$ in projection and estimate $\Sigma_{mol}\sim500-900$ M$_\odot$pc$^{-2}$ deprojected. Finally, our data yields velocity-integrated Rayleigh-Jeans brightness temperature line ratios $r_{31}$ that are approximately unity. In addition to the similar disk sizes, the very similar line profiles in J=1-0 and J=3-2 indicate that both transitions sample the same kinematics, implying that their emission is coextensive. We conclude that in these two main sequence galaxies there is no evidence for significant excitation gradients or a large molecular reservoir that is diffuse or cold and not involved in active star-formation. We suggest that $r_{31}$ in very actively star-forming galaxies is likely an indicator of how well mixed the star formation activity and the molecular reservoir are.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We report high spatial resolution observations of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) in the nearby spiral galaxies NGC 6946, M101 and NGC 628 obtained with the CARMA telescope. We observed CO(1-0) over regions with active star formation, and higher resolution observations of CO(2-1) have allowed us to resolve some of the largest GMCs. Using a Bayesian fitting approach, we generate scaling relations for the sizes, line widths, and virial masses of the structures identified in this work. We do not find evidence for a tight power law relation between size and line width, although the limited dynamic range in cloud size remains a clear issue in our analysis. Additionally, we use a Bayesian approach to analyze the Kennicutt-Schmidt (K-S) relation for the identified structures. We find that the distribution of slopes are broadly distributed, mainly due to the limited dynamic range of our measured H2 mass surface density, and being most consistent with super-linear relations. On the other hand, when we use the Bayesian approach to analyze the K-S relation for a uniform grid, the distributions of slopes is consistent with sub-linear relations. On-arm regions tend to have higher star formation rates than inter-arm regions. As in NGC 6946, in M101 we find regions where the star formation efficiency shows marked peaks at specific galoctocentric radii. On the other hand, the distribution of SFE in NGC 628 is more contiguous. We hypothesize that differences in the distribution of SFE may be indicative of different processes driving the spiral structure.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new survey of HCN(1-0) emission, a tracer of dense molecular gas, focused on the little-explored regime of normal star-forming galaxy disks. Combining HCN, CO, and infrared (IR) emission, we investigate the role of dense gas in Star Formation (SF), finding systematic variations in both the apparent dense gas fraction and the apparent SF efficiency (SFE) of dense gas. The latter may be unexpected, given the popularity of gas density threshold models to explain SF scaling relations. We used the IRAM 30-m telescope to observe HCN(1-0) across 29 nearby disk galaxies whose CO(2-1) emission has previously been mapped by the HERACLES survey. Because our observations span a range of galactocentric radii, we are able to investigate the properties of the dense gas as a function of local conditions. We focus on how the IR/CO, HCN/CO, and IR/HCN ratios (observational cognates of the SFE, dense gas fraction, and dense gas SFE) depend on the stellar surface density and the molecular/atomic ratio. The HCN/CO ratio correlates tightly with these two parameters across a range of 2.1 dex and increases in the high surface density parts of galaxies. Simultaneously, the IR/HCN ratio decreases systematically with these same parameters and is ~6-8 times lower near galaxy centers than in the outer regions. For fixed line-mass conversion factors, these results are incompatible with a simple model in which SF depends only on the gas mass above some density threshold. Only a specific set of environment-dependent conversion factors can render our observations compatible with such a model. Whole cloud models, such as the theory of turbulence regulated SF, do a better job of matching our data. We explore one such model in which variations in the Mach number and in the mean density would respectively drive the trends within galaxy disks and the differences between disk and merging galaxies (abridged).
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We describe and execute a novel approach to observationally estimate the lifetimes of giant molecular clouds (GMCs). We focus on the cloud population between the two main spiral arms in M51 (the inter-arm region) where cloud destruction via shear and star formation feedback dominates over formation processes. By monitoring the change in GMC number densities and properties across the inter-arm, we estimate the lifetime as a fraction of the inter-arm travel time. We find that GMC lifetimes in M51's inter-arm are finite and short, 20–30 Myr. Over most of the region under investigation shear appears to regulate the lifetime. As the shear timescale increases with galactocentric radius, we expect cloud destruction to switch primarily to feedback at larger radii. We identify a transition from shear- to feedback-dominated disruption, finding that shear is more efficient at dispersing clouds, whereas feedback transforms the population, e.g., by fragmenting high-mass clouds into lower mass pieces. Compared to the characteristic timescale for molecular hydrogen in M51, our short lifetimes suggest that gas can remain molecular while clouds disperse and reassemble. We propose that galaxy dynamics regulates the cycling of molecular material from diffuse to bound (and ultimately star-forming) objects, contributing to long observed molecular depletion times in normal disk galaxies. We also speculate that, in extreme environments like elliptical galaxies and concentrated galaxy centers, star formation can be suppressed when the shear timescale is short enough that some clouds will not survive to form stars.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: A major goal of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is to make accurate images with resolutions of tens of milliarcseconds, which at submillimeter (submm) wavelengths requires baselines up to ~15 km. To develop and test this capability, a Long Baseline Campaign (LBC) was carried out from September to late November 2014, culminating in end-to-end observations, calibrations, and imaging of selected Science Verification (SV) targets. This paper presents an overview of the campaign and its main results, including an investigation of the short-term coherence properties and systematic phase errors over the long baselines at the ALMA site, a summary of the SV targets and observations, and recommendations for science observing strategies at long baselines. Deep ALMA images of the quasar 3C138 at 97 and 241 GHz are also compared to VLA 43 GHz results, demonstrating an agreement at a level of a few percent. As a result of the extensive program of LBC testing, the highly successful SV imaging at long baselines achieved angular resolutions as fine as 19 mas at ~350 GHz. Observing with ALMA on baselines of up to 15 km is now possible, and opens up new parameter space for submm astronomy.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the recent star formation history (SFH) across M31 using optical images taken with the \texit{Hubble Space Telescope} as part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT). We fit the color-magnitude diagrams in ~9000 regions that are ~100 pc $\times$ 100 pc in projected size, covering a 0.5 square degree area (~380 kpc$^2$, deprojected) in the NE quadrant of M31. We show that the SFHs vary significantly on these small spatial scales but that there are also coherent galaxy-wide fluctuations in the SFH back to ~500 Myr, most notably in M31's 10-kpc star-forming ring. We find that the 10-kpc ring is at least 400 Myr old, showing ongoing star formation over the past ~500 Myr. This indicates the presence of molecular gas in the ring over at least 2 dynamical times at this radius. We also find that the ring's position is constant throughout this time, and is stationary at the level of 1 km/s, although there is evidence for broadening of the ring due to diffusion of stars into the disk. Based on existing models of M31's ring features, the lack of evolution in the ring's position makes a purely collisional ring origin highly unlikely. We find that the global SFR has been fairly constant over the last ~500 Myr, though it does show a small increase at 50 Myr that is 1.3 times the average SFR over the past 100 Myr. During the last ~500 Myr, ~60% of all SF occurs in the 10-kpc ring. Finally, we find that in the past 100 Myr, the average SFR over the PHAT survey area is $0.28\pm0.03$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ with an average deprojected intensity of $7.3 \times 10^{-4}$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-2}$, which yields a total SFR of ~0.7 M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ when extrapolated to the entire area of M31's disk. This SFR is consistent with measurements from broadband estimates. [abridged]
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: To test the theoretical understanding that finding bright CO emission depends primarily on dust shielding, we investigate the relationship between CO emission (ICO) and the amount of dust (estimated from infrared emission and expressed as ‘AV’) across the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), the Small Magellanic Cloud, and the Milky Way. We show that at our common resolution of 10 pc scales, ICO given a fixed line of sight AV is similar across all three systems despite the difference in metallicity. We find some evidence for a secondary dependence of ICO on radiation field; in the LMC, ICO at a given AV is smaller in regions of high Tdust, perhaps because of an increased photodissociating radiation field. We suggest a simple but useful picture in which the CO-to-H2 conversion factor (XCO) depends on two separable factors: (1) the distribution of gas column densities, which maps to an extinction distribution via a dust-to-gas ratio; and (2) the dependence of ICO on AV. Assuming that the probability distribution function (PDF) of local Milky Way clouds is universal, this approach predicts a dependence of ${X_{\rm CO}}$ on Z between Z−1 and Z−2 above about a third solar metallicity. Below this metallicity, CO emerges from only the high column density parts of the cloud and so depends very sensitively on the adopted PDF and the H2/H i prescription. The PDF of low-metallicity clouds is thus of considerable interest and the uncertainty associated with even an ideal prescription for XCO at very low metallicity will be large.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: A major goal of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is to make accurate images with resolutions of tens of milliarcseconds, which at submillimeter (submm) wavelengths requires baselines up to ~15 km. To develop and test this capability, a Long Baseline Campaign (LBC) was carried out from September to late November 2014, culminating in end-to-end observations, calibrations, and imaging of selected Science Verification (SV) targets. This paper presents an overview of the campaign and its main results, including an investigation of the short-term coherence properties and systematic phase errors over the long baselines at the ALMA site, a summary of the SV targets and observations, and recommendations for science observing strategies at long baselines. Deep ALMA images of the quasar 3C138 at 97 and 241 GHz are also compared to VLA 43 GHz results, demonstrating an agreement at a level of a few percent. As a result of the extensive program of LBC testing, the highly successful SV imaging at long baselines achieved angular resolutions as fine as 19 mas at ~350 GHz. Observing with ALMA on baselines of up to 15 km is now possible, and opens up new parameter space for submm astronomy.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Publication Stats

5k Citations
660.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • California Institute of Technology
      Pasadena, California, United States
    • The Ohio State University
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2006-2015
    • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
    • University of Victoria
      Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2014
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Astronomy
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2011
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Nagoya University
      Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
  • 2001-2011
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Radio Astronomy Laboratory
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2010
    • Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2008-2009
    • Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • Bucknell University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Луисбург, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Astronomy
      College Park, MD, United States