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Paper: Star Formation is Very Rapid in Spiral Galaxies
Volume: 396, Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Disks
Page: 163
Authors: Tamburro, D.; Rix, H.-W.; Walter, F.; Brinks, E.; de Blok, W.J.G.; Kennicutt, R.C.; Mac Low, M.-M.
Abstract: We estimate a characteristic timescale for star formation in the spiral arms of disk galaxies, going from atomic hydrogen (H I) to dust enshrouded young stars. Drawing on high resolution H I data from The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS) and 24 μm images from the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) for a sample of 14 nearby disk galaxies, we measure the angular offset between the H I and 24 μm emissivity peaks as a function of radius. We model these offsets assuming a kinematic pattern speed, Ωp, and a timescale, tHI→24 μm, for the time span between the dense H I phase and the existence of young stars heating the surrounding dust. The resulting values of tHI→24 μm for the sample, within the range 1−5 Myr, imply a rapid timescale for massive star formation in spiral arms.
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