Molecular gas in the galaxy M83 : Its distribution, kinematics, and relation to star formation

by Andersson Lundgren, Andreas

Abstract (Summary)
The barred spiral galaxy M83 (NGC5236) has been observed in the 12CO J=1–0 and J=2–1 millimetre lines with the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST). The sizes of the CO maps are 100×100, and they cover the entire optical disk. The CO emission is strongly peaked toward the nucleus. The molecular spiral arms are clearly resolved and can be traced for about 360º. The total molecular gas mass is comparable to the total Hi mass, but H2 dominates in the optical disk.Iso-velocity maps show the signature of an inclined, rotating disk, but also the effects of streaming motions along the spiral arms. The dynamical mass is determined and compared to the gas mass. The pattern speed is determined from the residual velocity pattern, and the locations of various resonances are discussed. The molecular gas velocity dispersion is determined, and a trend of decreasing dispersion with increasing galactocentric radius is found.A total gas (H2+Hi+He) mass surface density map is presented, and compared to the critical density for star formation of an isothermal gaseous disk. The star formation rate (SFR) in the disk is estimated using data from various star formation tracers. The different SFR estimates agree well when corrections for extinctions, based on the total gas mass map, are made. The radial SFR distribution shows features that can be associated with kinematic resonances. We also find an increased star formation efficiency in the spiral arms. Different Schmidt laws are fitted to the data. The star formation properties of the nuclear region, based on high angular resolution HST data, are also discussed.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Astronomy and astrophysics; Molecular gas; Galaxies; Galaxies individual: M83; Star formation; Galactic dynamics


Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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