The DiskMass Survey. VIII. On the relationship between disk stability and star formation

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/43
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN0004-637X
Volume785
Issue1
Article number43
Pages114; # of pages: 14
Subjectgalaxies: evolution; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: spiral; galaxies: star formation
AbstractWe study the relationship between the stability level of late-type galaxy disks and their star-formation activity using integral-field gaseous and stellar kinematic data. Specifically, we compare the two-component (gas+stars) stability parameter from Romeo & Wiegert (Q RW), incorporating stellar kinematic data for the first time, and the star-formation rate estimated from 21 cm continuum emission. We determine the stability level of each disk probabilistically using a Bayesian analysis of our data and a simple dynamical model. Our method incorporates the shape of the stellar velocity ellipsoid (SVE) and yields robust SVE measurements for over 90% of our sample. Averaging over this subsample, we find a meridional shape of for the SVE and, at 1.5 disk scale lengths, a stability parameter of Q RW = 2.0 ± 0.9. We also find that the disk-averaged star-formation-rate surface density () is correlated with the disk-averaged gas and stellar mass surface densities (Σ e, g and Σ e, *) and anti-correlated with Q RW. We show that an anti-correlation between and Q RW can be predicted using empirical scaling relations, such that this outcome is consistent with well-established statistical properties of star-forming galaxies. Interestingly, is not correlated with the gas-only or star-only Toomre parameters, demonstrating the merit of calculating a multi-component stability parameter when comparing to star-formation activity. Finally, our results are consistent with the Ostriker et al. model of self-regulated star-formation, which predicts . Based on this and other theoretical expectations, we discuss the possibility of a physical link between disk stability level and star-formation rate in light of our empirical results.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21273010
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Record identifier86a5bd34-8d23-4763-8519-8a16a051279d
Record created2014-12-05
Record modified2016-07-18
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