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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Emily Wisnioski (MPE Garching)

"Star formation on kpc-scales from redshift 0.1 to 1.5"

Abstract. Morphologies of star-forming galaxies at z>1 are typically irregular containing a handful of dominant bright regions. Recent observational evidence suggest that many of these galaxies are governed by disc-like rotation. Using Halpha galaxy kinematics from OSIRIS+LGSAO we find that within z~1 turbulent discs star-forming regions have average sizes of 1.5 kpc and average Jeans masses of 4.2x10^9 \Msun, in total accounting for 20-30% of the stellar mass of the discs. These findings lend observational support to models that predict larger star-forming regions will form as a result of higher disc velocity dispersions driven-up by cosmological gas accretion. As a consequence of the changes in global environment, it may be predicted that star-forming regions at high redshift should not resemble star-forming regions locally. Yet despite the increased sizes and dispersions, high-z star-forming regions and HII regions are found to follow tight scaling relations over the range z=0-2 for Halpha size, velocity dispersion, luminosity and mass when comparing >2000 HII regions locally and 30 regions at z>1. We are now able to test this result with first results from a new sample of z=0.1-0.2 highly star-forming turbulent galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Held in the AAO Large Meeting Room (Room 1, Ground Floor, Building 3) at 11:00 AM on Thursday, 07 February 2013