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Title: A Comparison between Nuclear Ring Star Formation in LIRGs and in Normal Galaxies with the Very Large Array
Abstract Nuclear rings are excellent laboratories for studying intense star formation. We present results from a study of nuclear star-forming rings in five nearby normal galaxies from the Star Formation in Radio Survey (SFRS) and four local LIRGs from the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey at sub-kiloparsec resolutions using Very Large Array high-frequency radio continuum observations. We find that nuclear ring star formation (NRSF) contributes 49%–60% of the total star formation of the LIRGs, compared to 7%–40% for the normal galaxies. We characterize a total of 57 individual star-forming regions in these rings, and find that with measured sizes of 10–200 pc, NRSF regions in the LIRGs have star formation rate (SFR) and Σ SFR up to 1.7 M ⊙ yr −1 and 402 M ⊙ yr −1 kpc −2 , respectively, which are about 10 times higher than in NRSF regions in the normal galaxies with similar sizes, and comparable to lensed high- z star-forming regions. At ∼100–300 pc scales, we estimate low contributions (<50%) of thermal free–free emission to total radio continuum emission at 33 GHz in the NRSF regions in the LIRGs, but large variations possibly exist at smaller physical scales. Finally, using archival sub-kiloparsec resolution CO ( J = 1–0) data of nuclear rings in the normal galaxies and NGC 7469 (LIRG), we find a large scatter in gas depletion times at similar molecular gas surface densities, which tentatively points to a multimodal star formation relation on sub-kiloparsec scales.  more » « less
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The Astrophysical Journal
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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