Assessments of the cold-gas reservoir in galaxies are a cornerstone for understanding star-formation processes and the role of feedback and baryonic cycling in galaxy evolution. Here we exploit a sample of 392 galaxies (dubbed MAGMA, Metallicity and Gas for Mass Assembly), presented in a recent paper, to quantify molecular and atomic gas properties across a broad range in stellar mass, Mstar, from ∼107 - 1011 M⊙. First, we find the metallicity (Z) dependence of the conversion factor for CO luminosity to molecular H2 mass αCO to be shallower than previous estimates, with αCO∝ (Z/Z⊙)-1.55. Second, molecular gas mass MH2 is found to be strongly correlated with Mstar and star-formation rate (SFR), enabling predictions of MH2 good to within ∼0.2 dex; analogous relations for atomic gas mass MHI and total gas mass Mgas are less accurate, ∼0.4 dex and ∼0.3 dex, respectively. Indeed, the behavior of atomic gas mass MHI in MAGMA scaling relations suggests that it may be a third, independent variable that encapsulates information about the circumgalactic environment and gas accretion. If Mgas is considered to depend on MHI, together with Mstar and SFR, we obtain a relation that predicts Mgas to within ∼0.05 dex. Finally, the analysis of depletion times and the scaling of MHI/Mstar and MH2/Mstar over three different mass bins suggests that the partition of gas and the regulation of star formation through gas content depends on the mass regime. Dwarf galaxies (Mstar∝ 3 × 109 M⊙) tend to be overwhelmed by (H » I) accretion, and despite short τH2 (and thus presumably high star-formation efficiency), star formation is unable to keep up with the gas supply. For galaxies in the intermediate Mstar "gas-equilibrium"bin (3 × 109 M⊙ ≲ Mstar ≲ 3 × 1010 M⊙), star formation proceeds apace with gas availability, and H I and H2 are both proportional to SFR. In the most massive "gas-poor, bimodality"regime (Mstar ≳ 3 × 1010 M⊙), H I does not apparently participate in star formation, although it generally dominates in mass over H2. Our results confirm that atomic gas plays a key role in baryonic cycling, and is a fundamental ingredient for current and future star formation, especially in dwarf galaxies.

Scaling relations and baryonic cycling in local star-forming galaxies: II. Gas content and star-formation efficiency / Hunt L.K.; Tortora C.; Ginolfi M.; Schneider R.. - In: ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS. - ISSN 0004-6361. - ELETTRONICO. - 643:(2020), pp. A180.0-A180.0. [10.1051/0004-6361/202039021]

Scaling relations and baryonic cycling in local star-forming galaxies: II. Gas content and star-formation efficiency

Ginolfi M.;
2020

Abstract

Assessments of the cold-gas reservoir in galaxies are a cornerstone for understanding star-formation processes and the role of feedback and baryonic cycling in galaxy evolution. Here we exploit a sample of 392 galaxies (dubbed MAGMA, Metallicity and Gas for Mass Assembly), presented in a recent paper, to quantify molecular and atomic gas properties across a broad range in stellar mass, Mstar, from ∼107 - 1011 M⊙. First, we find the metallicity (Z) dependence of the conversion factor for CO luminosity to molecular H2 mass αCO to be shallower than previous estimates, with αCO∝ (Z/Z⊙)-1.55. Second, molecular gas mass MH2 is found to be strongly correlated with Mstar and star-formation rate (SFR), enabling predictions of MH2 good to within ∼0.2 dex; analogous relations for atomic gas mass MHI and total gas mass Mgas are less accurate, ∼0.4 dex and ∼0.3 dex, respectively. Indeed, the behavior of atomic gas mass MHI in MAGMA scaling relations suggests that it may be a third, independent variable that encapsulates information about the circumgalactic environment and gas accretion. If Mgas is considered to depend on MHI, together with Mstar and SFR, we obtain a relation that predicts Mgas to within ∼0.05 dex. Finally, the analysis of depletion times and the scaling of MHI/Mstar and MH2/Mstar over three different mass bins suggests that the partition of gas and the regulation of star formation through gas content depends on the mass regime. Dwarf galaxies (Mstar∝ 3 × 109 M⊙) tend to be overwhelmed by (H » I) accretion, and despite short τH2 (and thus presumably high star-formation efficiency), star formation is unable to keep up with the gas supply. For galaxies in the intermediate Mstar "gas-equilibrium"bin (3 × 109 M⊙ ≲ Mstar ≲ 3 × 1010 M⊙), star formation proceeds apace with gas availability, and H I and H2 are both proportional to SFR. In the most massive "gas-poor, bimodality"regime (Mstar ≳ 3 × 1010 M⊙), H I does not apparently participate in star formation, although it generally dominates in mass over H2. Our results confirm that atomic gas plays a key role in baryonic cycling, and is a fundamental ingredient for current and future star formation, especially in dwarf galaxies.
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Hunt L.K.; Tortora C.; Ginolfi M.; Schneider R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1289356
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