The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation in Nearby Galaxies

  • Our Team

  • Dr. Axel Weiß (PI, MPIfR)
  • Prof. Jürgen Stutzki (PI, PH1)
  • Dr. Stefan Heyminck (MPIfR)
  • Dr. Ronan Higgins (PH1)
  • Dr. Bernd Klein (MPIfR)
  • Dr. Yoko Okada (PH1)
  • Dr. Juan-Pablo Perez-Beaupuits (MPIfR)
  • Dr. Miguel Requena-Torres (MPIfR)

A short overview

This project studies the properties of star forming clouds in nearby galaxies, where the spatial resolution or the known morphology and kinematical structure allow resolving core and disk structure as well as individual regions of star forming activity. By combining different environments, from AGN and starburst nuclei to individual cloud complexes in galactic discs, observed in the major submm and FIR cooling lines and dedicated chemical species, project A3 explores star forming activity as a function of the UV-field, gas density and metallicity in a systematic way, supported by the appropriate excitation-, shock- and PDR-modelling.

The project makes use of data from various observatories, such as the Herschel space telescope, SOFIA and the APEX and NANTENII telescopes. While the analysis of Herschel line and continuum data is in an advanced state or already completed for Arp220, NGC4945, NGC235, and M33, observations of other objects like IC342, M82, and the Magellanic clouds with SOFIA, APEX and NANTENII are still ongoing.

Of particular importance is the close interaction with A2, where part of the AGN sources studied in A3 are being investigated towards the dynamical interaction and morphology of the galaxy core with the surrounding ISM. Project A3 is complementary to the Galactic Center project (A5), which studies in much greater detail than possible for external galaxies, the conditions for star formation in the center region of the Milky Way. It has also strong links to A6 on galactic star burst regions. The modeling efforts in project C1 to C3 are essential for proper analysis and interpretation of the observations. Furthermore, the developments of receivers in project area D are critical for observations in A3 on both short term and long term perspective.

Selected Publications


In 2014
Israel,F., Güsten,R, Meijerink,R., Loenen,A.F., Requena-Torres,M.A., Stutzki,J., van der Werf,P., Harris,A.I, Kramer,C., Martin-Pintado,J., Weiß,A., 2014, A&A 562, A96

Rosenberg, M. J. F., Kazandjian, M. V., van der Werf, P. P., et al. Radiative and mechanical feedback into the molecular gas of NGC 253, A&A, 2014, 564, A126 (co-author: Güsten, R., Weiß, A.)

In 2013
Aladro, R., Viti, S., Bayet, E., et al., A λ=3 mm molecular line survey of NGC1068 Chemical signatures of an AGN environment. A&A, 2013, 549, 39 (co-authors: Requena-Torres, M., Weiß, A.).

Bolatto, A. D., Warren, Steven R., et al., Suppression of star formation in the galaxy NGC 253 by a starburst-driven molecular wind. Nature, 2013, 499, 450 (co-author: Weiß, A.).

Meijerink, R., Kristensen, L. E., Weiß, A., et al., Evidence for Co Shock Excitation in Ngc 6240 from Herschel Spire Spectroscopy. ApJ, 2013, 762 16.

Tabatabaei, F. S., Weiß, A.; Combes, F., Henkel, C., Menten, K. M., Beck, R., Kovács, A., Güsten, R., Cold dust in the giant barred galaxy NGC 1365. A&A, 2013, 555, 128.

In 2012
Galametz, M., Kennicutt, R. C., Albrecht, A., et al., Mapping the cold dust temperatures and masses of nearby KINGFISH galaxies with Herschel. MNRAS, 2012, 425, 763 (co-authors: Berotldi, F., Weiß, A.).

Pineda, J. L., Mizuno, N., Röllig, M., Stutzki, J., et al., Submillimeter line emission from LMC 30 Doradus: The impact of a starburst on a low-metallicity environment. A&A, 2012, 544, 84.

Röllig, M., Simon, R., Güsten, R., Stutzki, J., et al., [CII] gas in IC 342. A&A, 2012, 542, 22.

In 2011
Ao, Y., Henkel, C., Braatz, J. A., Weiß, A., Menten, K. M., Mühle, Ammonia (J,K) = (1,1) to (4,4) and (6,6) inversion lines detected in the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068. A&A, 2011, 529, 154.

Schruba, A., Leroy, A.K.; Walter, F., et al., A Molecular Star Formation Law in the Atomic-Gas-Dominated Regime in Nearby Galaxies. AJ, 2011, 142, 37 (co-author: Weiß, A.).

In 2010
Weiß, A., Requena-Torres, M. A., Güsten, R., et al., HIFI spectroscopy of low-level water transitions in M 82. A&A, 2010, 521, 1 (co-authors: Röllig, M., Stutzki, J).