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Constraining Star Formation Timescales Using the Spatial Correlation of Young Star Clusters and Giant Molecular Clouds

Presentation #113.04D in the session “Galaxy Morphology and Star Formation”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Constraining Star Formation Timescales Using the Spatial Correlation of Young Star Clusters and Giant Molecular Clouds

In the hierarchical view of star formation, giant molecular gas clouds (GMCs) undergo fragmentation to form small-scale structures made up of stars and star clusters which constitute larger structures within galaxies. Here we study the connection between young stars and cold gas across a range of galactic environments by combining the PHANGS-ALMA catalog of GMCs with the preliminary star cluster catalogs from PHANGS-HST. High-resolution (1") ALMA CO(2-1) observations of a sample of >70 nearby galaxies provide the basis of the GMC catalogs produced by PHANGS-ALMA while the PHANGS-HST star cluster catalogs are produced from HST UV-optical imaging of a subsample of the galaxies. We spatially correlate the star clusters and GMCs and, using the star cluster ages provided PHANGS-HST, statistically derive the timescales of star formation within GMCs. We apply this technique across a sample of galaxies and range of galactic environments (i.e., bulges, bars, spiral arms, etc.) thus providing insight on the connection between star formation at small-scales and large-scale galactic structure.


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