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  1. Abstract

    We present a12CO(J= 2−1) survey of 60 local galaxies using data from the Atacama Compact Array as part of the Extragalactic Database for Galaxy Evolution: the ACA EDGE survey. These galaxies all have integral field spectroscopy from the CALIFA survey. Compared to other local galaxy surveys, ACA EDGE is designed to mitigate selection effects based on CO brightness and morphological type. Of the 60 galaxies in ACA EDGE, 36 are on the star formation main sequence, 13 are on the red sequence, and 11 lie in the “green valley” transition between these sequences. We test how star formation quenching processes affect the star formation rate (SFR) per unit molecular gas mass, SFEmol= SFR/Mmol, and related quantities in galaxies with stellar masses 10 ≤ log[M/M] ≤ 11.5 covering the full range of morphological types. We observe a systematic decrease of the molecular-to-stellar mass fraction (Rmol) with a decreasing level of star formation activity, with green valley galaxies also having lower SFEmolthan galaxies on the main sequence. On average, we find that the spatially resolved SFEmolwithin the bulge region of green valley galaxies is lower than in the bulges of main-sequence galaxies if we adopt a constant CO-to-H2conversion factor,αCO. While efficiencies in main-sequence galaxies remain almost constant with galactocentric radius, in green valley galaxies, we note a systematic increase of SFEmol,Rmol, and specific SFR with increasing radius. As shown in previous studies, our results suggest that although gas depletion (or removal) seems to be the most important driver of the star formation quenching in galaxies transiting through the green valley, a reduction in star formation efficiency is also required during this stage.

     
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  2. Context.Mapping molecular line emission beyond the bright low-JCO transitions is still challenging in extragalactic studies, even with the latest generation of (sub-)millimetre interferometers, such as ALMA and NOEMA.

    Aims.We summarise and test a spectral stacking method that has been used in the literature to recover low-intensity molecular line emission, such as HCN(1−0), HCO+(1−0), and even fainter lines in external galaxies. The goal is to study the capabilities and limitations of the stacking technique when applied to imaged interferometric observations.

    Methods.The core idea of spectral stacking is to align spectra of the low S/N spectral lines to a known velocity field calculated from a higher S/N line expected to share the kinematics of the fainter line (e.g. CO(1−0) or 21 cm emission). Then these aligned spectra can be coherently averaged to produce potentially high S/N spectral stacks. Here we used imaged simulated interferometric and total power observations at different S/N levels, based on real CO observations.

    Results.For the combined interferometric and total power data, we find that the spectral stacking technique is capable of recovering the integrated intensities even at low S/N levels across most of the region where the high S/N prior is detected. However, when stacking interferometer-only data for low S/N emission, the stacks can miss up to 50% of the emission from the fainter line.

    Conclusions.A key result of this analysis is that the spectral stacking method is able to recover the true mean line intensities in low S/N cubes and to accurately measure the statistical significance of the recovered lines. To facilitate the application of this technique we provide a public Python package, called PYSTACKER.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. Carbon monoxide (CO) emission constitutes the most widely used tracer of the bulk molecular gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) in extragalactic studies. The CO-to-H 2 conversion factor, α 12 CO(1−0) , links the observed CO emission to the total molecular gas mass. However, no single prescription perfectly describes the variation of α 12 CO(1−0) across all environments within and across galaxies as a function of metallicity, molecular gas opacity, line excitation, and other factors. Using spectral line observations of CO and its isotopologues mapped across a nearby galaxy, we can constrain the molecular gas conditions and link them to a variation in α 12 CO(1−0) . Here, we present new, wide-field (10 × 10 arcmin 2 ) IRAM 30-m telescope 1 mm and 3 mm line observations of 12 CO, 13 CO, and C 18 O across the nearby, grand-design, spiral galaxy M101. From the CO isotopologue line ratio analysis alone, we find that selective nucleosynthesis and changes in the opacity are the main drivers of the variation in the line emission across the galaxy. In a further analysis step, we estimated α 12 CO(1−0) using different approaches, including (i) via the dust mass surface density derived from far-IR emission as an independent tracer of the total gas surface density and (ii) local thermal equilibrium (LTE) based measurements using the optically thin 13 CO(1–0) intensity. We find an average value of ⟨ α 12 CO(1 − 0) ⟩ = 4.4  ±  0.9  M ⊙  pc −2  (K km s −1 ) −1 across the disk of the galaxy, with a decrease by a factor of 10 toward the 2 kpc central region. In contrast, we find LTE-based α 12 CO(1−0) values are lower by a factor of 2–3 across the disk relative to the dust-based result. Accounting for α 12 CO(1−0) variations, we found significantly reduced molecular gas depletion time by a factor 10 in the galaxy’s center. In conclusion, our result suggests implications for commonly derived scaling relations, such as an underestimation of the slope of the Kennicutt Schmidt law, if α 12 CO(1−0) variations are not accounted for. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    We present a detailed analysis of the structure of the Local Group flocculent spiral galaxy M33, as measured using the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury Triangulum Extended Region (PHATTER) survey. Leveraging the multiwavelength coverage of PHATTER, we find that the oldest populations are dominated by a smooth exponential disk with two distinct spiral arms and a classical central bar—completely distinct from what is seen in broadband optical imaging, and the first-ever confirmation of a bar in M33. We estimate a bar extent of ∼1 kpc. The two spiral arms are asymmetric in orientation and strength, and likely represent the innermost impact of the recent tidal interaction responsible for M33's warp at larger scales. The flocculent multiarmed morphology for which M33 is known is only visible in the young upper main-sequence population, which closely tracks the morphology of the interstellar medium. We investigate the stability of M33's disk, findingQ∼ 1 over the majority of the disk. We fit multiple components to the old stellar density distribution and find that, when considering recent stellar kinematics, M33's bulk structure favors the inclusion of an accreted halo component, modeled as a broken power law. The best-fit halo has an outer power-law index of −3 and accurately describes observational evidence of M33's stellar halo from both resolved stellar spectroscopy in the disk and its stellar populations at large radius. Integrating this profile yields a total halo stellar mass of ∼5 × 108M, for a stellar halo mass fraction of 16%, most of which resides in the innermost 2.5 kpc.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    We use young clusters and giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in the galaxies M33 and M31 to constrain temporal and spatial scales in the star formation process. In M33, we compare the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury: Triangulum Extended Region (PHATTER) catalogue of 1214 clusters with ages measured via colour–magnitude diagram (CMD) fitting to 444 GMCs identified from a new 35 pc resolution Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 12CO(2–1) survey. In M31, we compare the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) catalogue of 1249 clusters to 251 GMCs measured from a Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) 12CO(1–0) survey with 20 pc resolution. Through two-point correlation analysis, we find that young clusters have a high probability of being near other young clusters, but correlation between GMCs is suppressed by the cloud identification algorithm. By comparing the positions, we find that younger clusters are closer to GMCs than older clusters. Through cross-correlation analysis of the M33 cluster data, we find that clusters are statistically associated when they are ≤10 Myr old. Utilizing the high precision ages of the clusters, we find that clusters older than ≈18 Myr are uncorrelated with the molecular interstellar medium (ISM). Using the spatial coincidence of the youngest clusters and GMCs in M33, we estimate that clusters spend ≈4–6 Myr inside their parent GMC. Through similar analysis, we find that the GMCs in M33 have a total lifetime of ≈11–15 Myr. We also develop a drift model and show that the above correlations can be explained if the clusters in M33 have a 5–10 km s−1 velocity dispersion relative to the molecular ISM.

     
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  6. Abstract

    We present13CO(J= 1 → 0) observations for the EDGE-CALIFA survey, which is a mapping survey of 126 nearby galaxies at a typical spatial resolution of 1.5 kpc. Using detected12CO emission as a prior, we detect13CO in 41 galaxies via integrated line flux over the entire galaxy and in 30 galaxies via integrated line intensity in resolved synthesized beams. Incorporating our CO observations and optical IFU spectroscopy, we perform a systematic comparison between the line ratio12/13I[12CO(J=10)]/I[13CO(J=10)]and the properties of the stars and ionized gas. Higher12/13values are found in interacting galaxies compared to those in noninteracting galaxies. The global12/13slightly increases with infrared colorF60/F100but appears insensitive to other host-galaxy properties such as morphology, stellar mass, or galaxy size. We also present azimuthally averaged12/13profiles for our sample up to a galactocentric radius of 0.4r25(∼6 kpc), taking into account the13CO nondetections by spectral stacking. The radial profiles of12/13are quite flat across our sample. Within galactocentric distances of 0.2r25, the azimuthally averaged12/13increases with the star formation rate. However, Spearman rank correlation tests show the azimuthally averaged12/13does not strongly correlate with any other gas or stellar properties in general, especially beyond 0.2r25from the galaxy centers. Our findings suggest that in the complex environments in galaxy disks,12/13is not a sensitive tracer for ISM properties. Dynamical disturbances, like galaxy interactions or the presence of a bar, also have an overall impact on12/13, which further complicates the interpretations of12/13variations.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    Galactic bars can drive cold gas inflows towards the centres of galaxies. The gas transport happens primarily through the so-called bar dust lanes, which connect the galactic disc at kpc scales to the nuclear rings at hundreds of pc scales much like two gigantic galactic rivers. Once in the ring, the gas can fuel star formation activity, galactic outflows, and central supermassive black holes. Measuring the mass inflow rates is therefore important to understanding the mass/energy budget and evolution of galactic nuclei. In this work, we use CO datacubes from the PHANGS-ALMA survey and a simple geometrical method to measure the bar-driven mass inflow rate on to the nuclear ring of the barred galaxy NGC 1097. The method assumes that the gas velocity in the bar lanes is parallel to the lanes in the frame co-rotating with the bar, and allows one to derive the inflow rates from sufficiently sensitive and resolved position–position–velocity diagrams if the bar pattern speed and galaxy orientations are known. We find an inflow rate of $\dot{M}=(3.0 \pm 2.1)\, \rm M_\odot \, yr^{-1}$ averaged over a time span of 40 Myr, which varies by a factor of a few over time-scales of ∼10 Myr. Most of the inflow appears to be consumed by star formation in the ring, which is currently occurring at a star formation rate (SFR) of $\simeq\!1.8\!-\!2 \, \rm M_\odot \, yr^{-1}$, suggesting that the inflow is causally controlling the SFR in the ring as a function of time.

     
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  8. Abstract

    pyspeckitis a toolkit and library for spectroscopic analysis in Python. We describe thepyspeckitpackage and highlight some of its capabilities, such as interactively fitting a model to data, akin to the historically widely-usedsplotfunction inIRAF.pyspeckitemploys the Levenberg–Marquardt optimization method via thempfitandlmfitimplementations, and important assumptions regarding error estimation are described here. Wrappers to usepymcandemceeas optimizers are provided. A parallelized wrapper to fit lines in spectral cubes is included. As part of theastropyaffiliated package ecosystem,pyspeckitis open source and open development, and welcomes input and collaboration from the community.

     
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  9. Abstract Spectral lines of ammonia, NH 3 , are useful probes of the physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores. In addition to advantages in spectroscopy, ammonia has also been suggested to be resistant to freezing onto grain surfaces, which should make it a superior tool for studying the interior parts of cold, dense cores. Here we present high-resolution NH 3 observations with the Very Large Array and Green Bank Telescope toward a prestellar core. These observations show an outer region with a fractional NH 3 abundance of X (NH 3 ) = (1.975 ± 0.005) × 10 −8 (±10% systematic), but it also reveals that, after all, the X (NH 3 ) starts to decrease above a H 2 column density of ≈2.6 × 10 22 cm −2 . We derive a density model for the core and find that the break point in the fractional abundance occurs at the density n (H 2 ) ∼ 2 × 10 5 cm −3 , and beyond this point the fractional abundance decreases with increasing density, following the power law n −1.1 . This power-law behavior is well reproduced by chemical models where adsorption onto grains dominates the removal of ammonia and related species from the gas at high densities. We suggest that the break-point density changes from core to core depending on the temperature and the grain properties, but that the depletion power law is anyway likely to be close to n −1 owing to the dominance of accretion in the central parts of starless cores. 
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  10. Abstract

    We measure the spatially resolved recent star formation history (SFH) of M33 using optical images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury: Triangulum Extended Region (PHATTER) survey. The area covered by the observations used in this analysis covers a de-projected area of ∼38 kpc2and extends to ∼3.5 and ∼2 kpc from the center of M33 along the major and semimajor axes, respectively. We divide the PHATTER optical survey into 2005 regions that measure 24 arcsec, ∼100 pc, on a side and fit color–magnitude diagrams for each region individually to measure the spatially resolved SFH of M33 within the PHATTER footprint. There are significant fluctuations in the SFH on small spatial scales and also galaxy-wide scales that we measure back to about 630 Myr ago. We observe a more flocculent spiral structure in stellar populations younger than about 80 Myr, while the structure of the older stellar populations is dominated by two spiral arms. We also observe a bar in the center of M33, which dominates at ages older than about 80 Myr. Finally, we find that the mean star formation rate (SFR) over the last 100 Myr within the PHATTER footprint is 0.32 ± 0.02 Myr−1. We measure a current SFR (over the last 10 Myr) of 0.20 ± 0.03 Myr−1. This SFR is slightly higher than previous measurements from broadband estimates, when scaled to account for the fraction of the D25 area covered by the PHATTER survey footprint.

     
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