Presentation #348.04 in the session “Star Formation”.
From both a theoretical and an observation perspective, dense gas plays an important role in star formation. Almost all theories of star formation have gas density as a key variable, while observations in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies suggest a close link between dense gas and star formation. Early unresolved observations of nearby galaxies suggested a simple relationship between the amount of dense gas and the amount of star formation in a galaxy. Recent resolved surveys of dense molecular gas in nearby galaxies have shown that the dense gas fraction and the dense gas star formation efficiency — ratio of the star formation rate to amount of dense gas — vary within individual galaxies and among different galaxies. However, the samples for these studies have been limited to 5-10 sources since the most common dense molecular gas tracers are faint. The goal of DEGAS — Dense Extragalactic GBT+Argus Survey — is map the dense molecular gas in central 2arcmin of 36 nearby galaxies at moderate (10arcsec) resolution. When complete, it will be the largest survey of dense molecular gas to date. In this presentation, we will provide an update on the current status of the project and initial results from our upcoming first data release.