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Astrophysics Luncheon Seminar

Exploring Distant Star Formation with ALMA
Presented by Jens Kauffmann
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn

Monday, July 27, 2015
12:00 noon in 169-336

Star formation in molecular clouds constitutes the foundation for the growth of galaxies and the birth of extrasolar planets. In the last few years several “star formation relations" were developed to quantitatively describe how star formation proceeds in these clouds. For example, these relations form the basis for our understanding of the growth of galaxies in the early universe.

Using ALMA and other interferometers we are now examining the Central Molecular Zone of the Milky Way (CMZ; i.e., central ~100 pc) as an extreme nearby star formation environment. We find that many star formation relations found to hold near Sun break down in the CMZ. For example, this calls our grasp of the galaxy formation process into question.

ALMA and NOEMA now give us a chance to explore our galactic backyard even better as done so far. These instruments also allow us to resolve parsec–scale structure in nearby galaxies. I describe some of the expected discoveries and some of the hurdles we need to overcome on this journey.

JPL Contact: Paul Goldsmith (3-0518)

SVCP Astrophysics

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