Environmental dependence of the molecular cloud lifecycle in 54 main-sequence galaxies

Article


Kim, Jaeyeon, Chevance, Mélanie, Kruijssen, J. M. Diederik, Leroy, Adam K., Schruba, Andreas, Barnes, Ashley T., Bigiel, Frank, Blanc, Guillermo A., Cao, Yixian, Congiu, Enrico, Dale, Daniel A., Faesi, Christopher M., Glover, Simon C. O., Grasha, Kathryn, Groves, Brent, Hughes, Annie, Klessen, Ralf S., Kreckel, Kathryn, McElroy, Rebecca, ..., Williams, T.G.. 2022. "Environmental dependence of the molecular cloud lifecycle in 54 main-sequence galaxies." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 516 (2), pp. 3006-3028. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac2339
Article Title

Environmental dependence of the molecular cloud lifecycle in 54 main-sequence galaxies

ERA Journal ID1074
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKim, Jaeyeon, Chevance, Mélanie, Kruijssen, J. M. Diederik, Leroy, Adam K., Schruba, Andreas, Barnes, Ashley T., Bigiel, Frank, Blanc, Guillermo A., Cao, Yixian, Congiu, Enrico, Dale, Daniel A., Faesi, Christopher M., Glover, Simon C. O., Grasha, Kathryn, Groves, Brent, Hughes, Annie, Klessen, Ralf S., Kreckel, Kathryn, McElroy, Rebecca, Pan, Hsi-An, Pety, Jérôme, Querejeta, Miguel, Razza, Alessandro, Rosolowsky, Erik, Saito, Toshiki, Schinnerer, Eva, Sun, Jiayi, Tomičić, Neven, Usero, Antonio and Williams, T.G.
Journal TitleMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Journal Citation516 (2), pp. 3006-3028
Number of Pages23
Year2022
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0035-8711
1365-2966
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac2339
Web Address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/516/2/3006/6673429
AbstractThe processes of star formation and feedback, regulating the cycle of matter between gas and stars on the scales of giant molecular clouds (GMCs; ∼100 pc), play a major role in governing galaxy evolution. Measuring the time-scales of GMC evolution is important to identify and characterize the specific physical mechanisms that drive this transition. By applying a robust statistical method to high-resolution CO and narrow-band H α imaging from the PHANGS survey, we systematically measure the evolutionary timeline from molecular clouds to exposed young stellar regions on GMC scales, across the discs of an unprecedented sample of 54 star-forming main-sequence galaxies (excluding their unresolved centres). We find that clouds live for about 1−3 GMC turbulence crossing times (5−30 Myr) and are efficiently dispersed by stellar feedback within 1−5 Myr once the star-forming region becomes partially exposed, resulting in integrated star formation efficiencies of 1−8 per cent. These ranges reflect physical galaxy-to-galaxy variation. In order to evaluate whether galactic environment influences GMC evolution, we correlate our measurements with average properties of the GMCs and their local galactic environment. We find several strong correlations that can be physically understood, revealing a quantitative link between galactic-scale environmental properties and the small-scale GMC evolution. Notably, the measured CO-visible cloud lifetimes become shorter with decreasing galaxy mass, mostly due to the increasing presence of CO-dark molecular gas in such environment. Our results represent a first step towards a comprehensive picture of cloud assembly and dispersal, which requires further extension and refinement with tracers of the atomic gas, dust, and deeply embedded stars.
Keywordsstars: formation; ISM: clouds; ISM: structure; galaxies: ISM;
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020510102. Astronomical instrumentation
Public Notes

This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Byline AffiliationsHeidelberg University, Germany
Ohio State University, United States
Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Germany
University of Bonn, Germany
Carnegie Institution for Science, United States
University of Chile, Chile
University of Wyoming, United States
University of Connecticut, United States
Australian National University
ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions, Australia
University of Western Australia
National center for scientific research (CNRS), France
University of Toulouse, France
School of Mathematics, Physics and Computing
Tamkang University, Taiwan
Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM), France
Sorbonne University, France
National Astronomical Observatory (IGN), Spain
University of Alberta, Canada
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan
McMaster University, Canada
University of Toronto, Canada
University of Florence, Italy
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany
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