Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 462, 3123-3129 (2016/November-1)
The prevalence of star formation as a function of Galactocentric radius.
RAGAN S.E., MOORE T.J.T., EDEN D.J., HOARE M.G., ELIA D. and MOLINARI S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present large-scale trends in the distribution of star-forming objects revealed by the Hi-GAL survey. As a simple metric probing the prevalence of star formation in Hi-GAL sources, we define the fraction of the total number of Hi-GAL sources with a 70 µm counterpart as the 'star-forming fraction' or SFF. The mean SFF in the inner galactic disc (3.1 kpc < RGC < 8.6 kpc) is 25 per cent. Despite an apparent pile-up of source numbers at radii associated with spiral arms, the SFF shows no significant deviations at these radii, indicating that the arms do not affect the star-forming productivity of dense clumps either via physical triggering processes or through the statistical effects of larger source samples associated with the arms. Within this range of Galactocentric radii, we find that the SFF declines with RGC at a rate of -0.026 ±0.002 per kiloparsec, despite the dense gas mass fraction having been observed to be constant in the inner Galaxy. This suggests that the SFF may be weakly dependent on one or more large-scale physical properties of the Galaxy, such as metallicity, radiation field, pressure or shear, such that the dense sub-structures of molecular clouds acquire some internal properties inherited from their environment.
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
stars: formation - ISM: clouds - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: ISM
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