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  1. Abstract

    The molecular gas in galaxies traces both the fuel for star formation and the processes that can enhance or suppress star formation. Observations of the molecular gas state can thus point to when and why galaxies stop forming stars. In this study, we present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of the molecular gas in galaxies evolving through the post-starburst phase. These galaxies have low current star formation rates (SFRs), regardless of the SFR tracer used, with recent starbursts ending within the last 600 Myr. We present CO (3–2) observations for three post-starburst galaxies, and dense gas HCN/HCO+/HNC (1–0) observations for six (four new) post-starburst galaxies. The post-starbursts have low excitation traced by the CO spectral-line energy distribution up to CO (3–2), more similar to early-type than starburst galaxies. The low excitation indicates that lower density rather than high temperatures may suppress star formation during the post-starburst phase. One galaxy displays a blueshifted outflow traced by CO (3–2). MaNGA observations show that the ionized gas velocity is disturbed relative to the stellar velocity field, with a blueshifted component aligned with the molecular gas outflow, suggestive of a multiphase outflow. Low ratios of HCO+/CO, indicating low fractions of dense molecular gasmore »relative to the total molecular gas, are seen throughout post-starburst phase, except for the youngest post-starburst galaxy considered here. These observations indicate that the impact of any feedback or quenching processes may be limited to low excitation and weak outflows in the cold molecular gas during the post-starburst phase.

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  2. Abstract

    We present a multiwavelength study of IC 860, a nearby post-starburst galaxy at the early stage of transitioning from blue and star forming to red and quiescent. Optical images reveal a galaxy-wide, dusty outflow originating from a compact core. We find evidence for a multiphase outflow in the molecular and neutral gas phase from the CO position–velocity diagram and NaD absorption features. We constrain the neutral mass outflow rate to be ∼0.5Myr−1, and the total hydrogen mass outflow rate to be ∼12Myr−1. Neither outflow component seems able to escape the galaxy. We also find evidence for a recent merger in the optical images, CO spatial distribution, and kinematics, and evidence for a buried active galactic nucleus in the optical emission line ratios, mid-IR properties, and radio spectral shape. The depletion time of the molecular gas reservoir under the current star formation rate is ∼7 Gyr, indicating that the galaxy could stay at the intermediate stage between the blue and red sequence for a long time. Thus the timescales for a significant decline in star formation rate (quenching) and gas depletion are not necessarily the same. Our analysis supports the quenching picture where outflows help suppress star formation by disturbingmore »rather than expelling the gas and shed light on possible ongoing activities in similar quenching galaxies.

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  3. Abstract

    Post-starburst (PSB), or “E + A,” galaxies represent a rapid transitional phase between major, gas-rich mergers and gas-poor, quiescent, early-type galaxies. Surprisingly, many PSBs have been shown to host a significant interstellar medium (ISM), despite theoretical predictions that the majority of the star-forming gas should be expelled in active galactic nuclei– or starburst-driven outflows. To date, the resolved properties of this surviving ISM have remained unknown. We present high-resolution ALMA continuum and CO(2–1) observations in six gas- and dust-rich PSBs, revealing for the first time the spatial and kinematic structure of their ISM on sub-kpc scales. We find extremely compact molecular reservoirs, with dust and gas surface densities rivaling those found in (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. We observe spatial and kinematic disturbances in all sources, with some also displaying disk-like kinematics. Estimates of the internal turbulent pressure in the gas exceed those of normal star-forming disks by at least 2 orders of magnitude, and rival the turbulent gas found in local interacting galaxies, such as the Antennae. Though the source of this high turbulent pressure remains uncertain, we suggest that the high incidence of tidal disruption events in PSBs could play a role. The star formation in these PSBs’ turbulentmore »central molecular reservoirs is suppressed, forming stars only 10% as efficiently as starburst galaxies with similar gas surface densities. “The fall” of star formation in these galaxies was not precipitated by complete gas expulsion or redistribution. Rather, this high-resolution view of PSBs’ ISM indicates that star formation in their remaining compact gas reservoirs is suppressed by significant turbulent heating.

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  4. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present Hubble Space Telescope imaging of a pre-explosion counterpart to SN 2019yvr obtained 2.6 yr before its explosion as a type Ib supernova (SN Ib). Aligning to a post-explosion Gemini-S/GSAOI image, we demonstrate that there is a single source consistent with being the SN 2019yvr progenitor system, the second SN Ib progenitor candidate after iPTF13bvn. We also analysed pre-explosion Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) imaging, but we do not detect any counterparts at the SN location. SN 2019yvr was highly reddened, and comparing its spectra and photometry to those of other, less extinguished SNe Ib we derive $E(B-V)=0.51\substack{+0.27\\ -0.16}$ mag for SN 2019yvr. Correcting photometry of the pre-explosion source for dust reddening, we determine that this source is consistent with a log (L/L⊙) = 5.3 ± 0.2 and $T_{\mathrm{eff}} = 6800\substack{+400\\ -200}$ K star. This relatively cool photospheric temperature implies a radius of 320$\substack{+30\\ -50}~\mathrm{ R}_{\odot}$, much larger than expectations for SN Ib progenitor stars with trace amounts of hydrogen but in agreement with previously identified SN IIb progenitor systems. The photometry of the system is also consistent with binary star models that undergo common envelope evolution, leading to a primary star hydrogen envelope mass that is mostly depleted but still seemingly in conflict with the SN Ib classification of SN 2019yvr. SN 2019yvr had signatures ofmore »strong circumstellar interaction in late-time (>150 d) spectra and imaging, and so we consider eruptive mass-loss and common envelope evolution scenarios that explain the SN Ib spectroscopic class, pre-explosion counterpart, and dense circumstellar material. We also hypothesize that the apparent inflation could be caused by a quasi-photosphere formed in an extended, low-density envelope, or circumstellar matter around the primary star.« less