A Kennicutt-Schmidt relation at molecular cloud scales and beyond [GA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1702.08562


Using N-body/gasdynamic simulations of a Milky Way-like galaxy we analyse a Kennicutt-Schmidt relation, $\Sigma_{SFR} \propto \Sigma_{gas}^N$, at different spatial scales. We simulate synthetic observations in CO lines and UV band. We adopt the star formation rate defined in two ways: based on free fall collapse of a molecular cloud – $\Sigma_{SFR, cl}$, and calculated by using a UV flux calibration – $\Sigma_{SFR, UV}$. We study a KS relation for spatially smoothed maps with effective spatial resolution from molecular cloud scales to several hundred parsecs. We find that for spatially and kinematically resolved molecular clouds the $\Sigma_{SFR, cl} \propto \Sigma_{\rm gas}^N$ relation follows the power-law with index $N \approx 1.4$. Using UV flux as SFR calibrator we confirm a systematic offset between the $\Sigma_{\rm UV}$ and $\Sigma_{\rm gas}$ distributions on scales compared to molecular cloud sizes. Degrading resolution of our simulated maps for surface densities of gas and star formation rates we establish that there is no relation $\Sigma_{\rm SFR, UV} – \Sigma_{\rm gas}$ below the resolution $\sim 50$ pc. We find a transition range around scales $\sim 50-120$ pc, where the power-law index $N$ increases from 0 to 1-1.8 and saturates for scales larger $\sim 120$ pc. A value of the index saturated depends on a surface gas density threshold and it becomes steeper for higher $\Sigma_{gas}$ threshold. Averaging over scales with size of $>150$ pc the power-law index $N$ equals 1.3-1.4 for surface gas density threshold $\sim 5 M_\odot$pc$^{-2}$. At scales $>120$ pc surface SFR densities determined by using CO data and UV flux, $\Sigma_{\rm SFR, UV}/\Sigma_{\rm SFR, cl}$, demonstrate a discrepancy about a factor of 3. We argue that this may be originated from overestimating (constant) values of conversion factor, star formation efficiency or UV calibration used in our analysis.

Read this paper on arXiv…

S. Khoperskov and E. Vasiliev
Wed, 1 Mar 17
52/67

Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

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