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Discussion: Star Formation Within Galaxies

M.S. Oey & C. Muñoz-Tuñón

This Discussion session focused on star formation within galactic scales. We attempt to identify the dominant physical processes and parameters that characterize star formation, and to identify key questions that illuminate these phenomena. The Discussion was delineated by the following cycle of three questions: (A) Is the top of the HII LF physically distinct? (B) How does massive star feedback affect the ISM and star formation? (C) How do ISM properties affect the HII LF? Finally, is one of these three questions the fundamental one of the cycle?

Corresponding answers emerged from the Discussion: (A) The HII LF to date is a continuous power law; (B) There are both positive and negative feedback effects, which are poorly understood; (C) The HII LF appears remarkably independent of ISM properties. Therefore, we suggest that the resultant fundamental question is: "Is the HII LF and parent stellar cluster membership function universal?" This is analogous to the related question of a universal stellar IMF. Understanding the relationship, if any, between the IMF, cluster membership function, and ISM properties may finally lead to a quantitative theory of star formation.

2003, in Star Formation Through Time, eds. E. Pérez, R. González Delgado, & G. Tenorio-Tagle (San Francisco: ASP), 61.

  • PostScript preprint
  • astro-ph/0212052
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