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The Resolved Kennicutt-Schmidt Law in Nearby Galaxies

  • R. Momose (a1) (a2) (a3), J. Koda (a4), R. C. Kennicutt (a5), F. Egusa (a6), S. K. Okumura (a3) (a7), D. Calzetti (a8), G. Liu (a8) (a9), J. Donovan Meyer (a4), N. Z. Scoville (a10), T. Sawada (a11) and N. Kuno (a12)...

Abstract

The Kennicutt-Schmidt law (Schmidt 1959; Kennicutt 1998, hereafter K-S law) is a power law correlation between area averaged star formation rate (ΣSFR) and gas surface density (Σgas). Despite its importance, the physics that underlie this correlation has remained unclear. The power law index, N, is a prime discriminator of the mechanisms that regulate star formation and form the K-S law (e.g. Leroy et al. 2008; Tan 2010). We present a study of the resolved K-S law for 10 nearby disk galaxies using our new CO(1-0) data at 750 and 500 pc resolutions. The CO(1-0) line emission is established as a tracer of the molecular gas column density, and results in a super-linear correlation (N = 1.3 and 1.8). We discuss the cause of the discrepancy between previous studies, and the mechanism of star formation indicated from our new results.

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References

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Bigiel, F.et al. 2008, AJ, 136, 2846
Kennicutt, R. C. Jr., 1998, ARAA, 36, 189
Koda, J.et al. 2012, accepted ApJ
Leroy, A. K.et al. 2008, AJ, 136, 2782
Schmidt, M., 1959, ApJ, 129, 243
Tan, J. C., 2010, ApJ, 710, L88
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