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Scaling relations of star-forming regions: from kpc-sized clumps to H II regions

Wisnioski, Emily and Glazebrook, Karl and Blake, Chris and Poole, Gregory B. and Green, Andrew W. and Wyder, Ted and Martin, Chris (2012) Scaling relations of star-forming regions: from kpc-sized clumps to H II regions. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 422 (4). pp. 3339-3355. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We present the properties of eight star-forming regions, or ‘clumps,’ in three galaxies at z ∼ 1.3 from the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey, which are resolved with the OH Suppressing InfraRed Imaging Spectrograph (OSIRIS) integral field spectrograph. Within turbulent discs, σ ∼ 90 km s^−1, clumps are measured with average sizes of 1.5 kpc and average Jeans masses of 4.2 × 10^9 M_⊙, in total accounting for 40–60 per cent of the stellar mass of the discs. These findings lend observational support to models that predict larger clumps will form as a result of higher disc velocity dispersions driven-up by cosmological gas accretion. As a consequence of the changes in global environment, it may be predicted that star-forming regions at high redshift should not resemble star-forming regions locally. Yet despite the increased sizes and dispersions, clumps and H_II regions are found to follow tight scaling relations over the range z = 0–2 for Hα size, velocity dispersion, luminosity and mass when comparing >2000 H_II regions locally and 30 clumps at z > 1 (σ ∝ r^(0.42 ±0.03), L_(Hα) ∝ r^(2.72 ±0.04), L_(Hα) ∝ σ^(4.18 ±0.21) and L_Hα ∝ M_Jeans^(1.24±0.05) ). We discuss these results in the context of the existing simulations of clump formation and evolution, with an emphasis on the processes that drive-up the turbulent motions in the interstellar medium. Our results indicate that while the turbulence of discs may have important implications for the size and luminosity of regions which form within them, the same processes govern their formation from high redshift to the current epoch.

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Martin, Chris0000-0002-8650-1644
Additional Information:© 2012 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS. Accepted 2012 February 29; Received 2012 February 13; in original form 2011 December 13. Article first published online: 17 Apr. 2012. We thank the referee for providing valuable comments. EW thanks Max Malacari and Nadine Bachmann for their valuable help on measuring clump sizes and Mark Swinbank and Rachel Livermore for useful discussions. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.
Subject Keywords: H ii regions; galaxies: formation; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: star clusters: general
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120620-155625461
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Official Citation:Wisnioski, E., Glazebrook, K., Blake, C., Poole, G. B., Green, A. W., Wyder, T. and Martin, C. (2012), Scaling relations of star-forming regions: from kpc-sized clumps to H ii regions. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 422: 3339–3355. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20850.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31994
Deposited By: Aucoeur Ngo
Deposited On:21 Jun 2012 14:48
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 22:57

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