Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Étude du milieu interstellaire de galaxies chimiquement jeunes du Groupe Local

Abstract : The variety of galaxies in the Local Group enables the study of the interstellar medium and star formation under conditions different from those found in the Milky Way, while retaining a good spatial resolution due to their proximity. We have studied the interstellar medium of two Local Group galaxies, M33 and NGC6822, that have metallicities 2 to 3 times less than solar and are respectively 10 and 100 times less luminous than the Milky Way. Our large scale observations of the CO(2-1) transition, with a resolution sufficient to resolve giant molecular clouds, provide the first molecular gas map of NGC6822 and the M33 map with the best combination of resolution and sensitivity. We also present a high resolution map of the atomic gas from an interferometric mosaic of M33's disk through the 21 cm hydrogen line. Combining these observations with data ranging from ultraviolet to far infrared, we study the interstellar medium and star formation on scales ranging from individual clouds to the whole galaxy. These two chemically young objects appear to be converting molecular hydrogen into stars at a faster rate than in large spirals like the Milky Way. Can this be linked to the high star formation rate in galaxies of the earlier universe (z ≃ 0,5 − 1) which were bluer and gas rich like M33 and NGC6822 ? We have taken particular care to try and measure the molecular hydrogen mass, a difficult task in such objects, at the scale both of the galaxy and of the clouds. An automated molecular cloud identification and physical property measurement has been applied to the molecular gas data, yielding, in the case of M33, the largest catalog of giant molecular clouds in an external galaxy. From this catalog, it is found that the M33 molecular clouds have, on average, a smaller line-width, for a given size, than their Galactic counterparts. In M33, the fraction of small clouds increases significantly with the galactocentric radius. At least a sixth of the giant molecular clouds are not associated with detected star formation but we have not identified any particular physical characteristics for these clouds.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Pierre Gratier <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 4:36:27 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 23, 2020 - 2:38:10 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 4:18:18 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00802958, version 1




P. Gratier. Étude du milieu interstellaire de galaxies chimiquement jeunes du Groupe Local. Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique [astro-ph.CO]. Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux I, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00802958⟩



Record views


Files downloads