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03 December 2021
 
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A Kennicutt-Schmidt relation at molecular cloud scales and beyond
Sergey A. Khoperskov ; Evgenii O. Vasiliev ;
Date 27 Feb 2017
AbstractUsing 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 $Sigma_{SFR, cl} propto Sigma_{ m gas}^N$ relation follows the power-law with index $N approx 1.4$. Using UV flux as SFR calibrator we confirm a systematic offset between the $Sigma_{ m UV}$ and $Sigma_{ m gas}$ 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 $Sigma_{ m SFR, UV} - Sigma_{ m gas}$ 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, $Sigma_{ m SFR, UV}/Sigma_{ m SFR, cl}$, 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.
Source arXiv, 1702.8562
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